Legacy of Waddell & Harrington Sets Stage for Future Success

After an already accomplished career that saw him spend several years in Tokyo as a civil engineering professor, JAL Waddell started a private practice in Kansas City on January 1, 1887. He continued working as JAL Waddell, Consulting Engineer until 1899, at which time he took on a partner named Ira Hedrick, who had been his chief draftsman.

That partnership lasted until 1907, when Waddell teamed with John Lyle Harrington, formerly the Locomotive and Machine Company of Montreal’s chief engineer. This partnership resulted in the design of numerous bridges of all types between 1907 and 1914, several of which are still standing today, including the Murray Morgan Bridge and the Steel Bridge.

After Harrington left the firm, JAL Waddell grew the business he and his former partners started. He took as a partner his son Needham Everett Waddell, who had been with his father’s company since 1908. The firm now became known as Waddell & Son and continued to celebrate the already rich heritage that Waddell had created over the previous years. The firm issued a lavish brochure in 1918 that celebrated an unbroken chain of 31 years of innovation.

When JAL Waddell moved the firm to New York City in 1920, his son stayed behind. He reverted to JAL Waddell, Consulting Engineer until 1927 when he took his longtime engineer Shortridge Hardesty as his new partner to create Waddell & Hardesty. The Waddell & Hardesty name continued for seven years after Waddell’s death in 1938, until Hardesty took on Clinton Hanover (former chief of the bureau of bridge design for New York City) as a partner, and the firm became Hardesty & Hanover in 1945.

Over the years, H&H has grown to provide a wide range of transportation engineering solutions; we remain the worldwide leader in movable bridge design. In the last 20 years alone, H&H has worked on over 250 movable bridge projects. Current projects cover North America, and we are proud to be consulted on complex bridge projects throughout the world frequently.