The Anglo-Californian engineer, Ernest L. Ransome, has a secure place in the annals of reinforced concrete because of the very large number of patents issued to him in the last two decades of the 19th century. At the end of the sequence, in 1902, comes a patented "system" which foreshadows modern concrete-framed factory-construction. Ransome clearly understood the difference between wall-and-window and frame-and-fill, but the building where he made the change, the Pacific Coast Borax plant at Bayonne, New Jersey, has been overlooked so far by historians. The article gives a brief account of the structure, which is still standing in all its crucial parts, and attempts an assessment of its historical importance for later developments, such as the rise of the International Style.
- Copyright 1983 The Society of Architectural Historians