If Chicago was the first place to have a skyscraper, then Texas is home to a spectacular trick of another skyscraper.
The word "skyscraper" in English was first used to describe high-rise buildings in the 19th century in the United States, when the construction of buildings began to mushroom. Ever since the concept came about, the first skyscraper, Home Insurance , was built in Chicago in 1885. This 55m-high building was designed by architect William Le Baron Jenney (1832-1907).
When Jenney submitted his blueprints, the council doubted whether the building would truly stand on its own. At that time, the buildings were built with thick walls. However, the walls of Home Insurance are very thin thanks to the steel support frame. This makes it lighter and higher while weighing only one-third the weight of contemporary buildings.
The fact has proved, the building is not only strong, but also a special highlight, creating a new school of architecture called Chicago. Less than 10 years after the Home Insurance building was completed, the city had 12 more skyscrapers between 16 and 20 stories high in the financial center. These skyscrapers are fast becoming tourist attractions of the city.
In the past, the word "skycraper" was often used in jokes, when teasing a person or something else.Above is the Home Insurance Building, 55m high.(Photo: Corbis).
However, the first skyscraper - the inspiration for later constructions, was demolished in 1931, to make way for another skyscraper, the Field Building , 163 meters high with 45 floors.
Besides the first skyscraper, the United States also has the smallest skyscraper in the world, Newby-McMahon . The building is only about 12m high with 4 floors and the birth of this building is still mentioned by many people with the adjectives "interesting", "unique".
In 1912, a large oil field was discovered near the town of Burkburnett, in Wichita County, Texas. People from all over come here to live, the region's economy thus grows vibrant. In 1918, there were about 20,000 settlers here, making the city scarce where offices were located. Engineer JD McMahon came up with a solution that is Newby-McMahon high-rise building.
After fooling investors with a smaller skyscraper, McMahon leisurely left Texas with huge pocket money.(Photo: Solomon Chaim).
Investors quickly transferred $ 200,000 to McMahon to build this "skyscraper" tower. The design of the tower was also drawn and sent to everyone, but one thing no one noticed. Instead of the unit of measurement in feet (1 ft = 30.48 cm), McMahon intentionally recorded in inches (1 in = 2.54 cm). That means that instead of a building being as tall as a 40-story building, it's actually only 4 stories high.
Until the results were handed over, the new investors "fell" and sued McMahon for fraud. However, the verdict was in favor of McMahon, because he actually recorded the drawing in units of inches, not feet. The mistake was due to the investors not discovering this and McMahon built exactly what they signed.
In fact, tall buildings have been around for a long time. In the desert city of Shibam in Yemen, there are ten-story mud brick buildings built in the 13th century. Or in San Gimignano, Tuscany, Itay, there were more than 70 taller buildings. 60m, all built before the 15th century. However, this concept of "skyscraper" has only been known and widely used since the 19th century.