Biwajima Bridge after the earthquake, Japan, 1891.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Damaged bridge in a suburb of Nagoya, from 'The great earthquake in Japan, 1891' by John Milne, (Yokohama, 1892?). Milne (1850-1913), a professor at the Imperial College of Engineering in Tokyo, described the scene: 'The Biwajima-bashi, a wide wooden carriage bridge across the Shonaigawa, has been completely wrecked. It lies in the bed of the river in a curious serpent-like twisted form. The river is very low, and the continuity of the bridge is nowhere actually broken, so it is possible to walk across, though the feat is not a very easy one on account of the angle at which the footway is canted'. The earthquake was studied using modern seismological techniques developed by Milne and W K Burton who also took the photographs for the book.