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Marquees - from the first beginnings to present day

Northamptonshire Marquees were at one time supplying marquees for hire without really knowing the origin of the name or even the history of the marquee. We also realised that not many other people knew these facts either so decided to rectify this by doing some research our own. The resulting three articles that we named, 'The Evolution of the Marquee' are the fruits of our research..

Marquee Evolution Part 2

Marquee construction - the rise of the structural engineer and architect. Research by Northamptonshire Marquees.

With the advent of new fabrics and the commercial manufacture of these, along with new rope making techniques, tents and tent making became, not just the domain of traditional craftsman but that of the structural engineer and architect.

Around 1823 when strong ropes became commercially available, studies into suspension structures and long-span structures were made. This resulted in large suspension structures becoming more common. 1896 saw a Structural Engineering Pavilion designed for the Novgorod exhibition in Russia. This directly resulted in todays current interest in the spanning potential of tension stabilised surfaces.

radomes-climatic protection for radar dishes In 1918 and again in 1938 F.W. Lanchester’s work in habitable enclosures and air supported dome spanning, resulted in the commercial production of 'radomes’ - climatic protection for radar dishes. These minimal structure shelters were manufactured at first using patterned balloon fabric. Since 1946 tens of thousands of ‘radomes’ some more than 60m in diameter, have been manufactured. This has helped fuel intensive research into fabric composition and made the fabric structure market big business. It certainly was a factor in the development of todays tents and marquees. .

If you enjoyed this article then head on over to the 3rd and final article Marquee Evolution Part 3. Historical information courtesy of Gregor Harvey from his article, The History of Fabric Structures Navy Radome image courtesy wikipedia.org

Rotunda of the Panrussian Exposition 1896Rotunda of the Panrussian Exposition 1896.

Rotunda and rectangular pavilion by Vladimir Shukhov in Nizhny Novgorod 1896 Rotunda and rectangular pavilion by Vladimir Shukhov in Nizhny Novgorod 1896.

orld’s First membrane roof and lattice shell by Shukhov  in the Novgorod All-Russia Exhibition1896 World’s First membrane roof and lattice shell by Shukhov in the Novgorod All-Russia Exhibition1896.

All-Russia Exhibition 1896 images courtesy of ‘Structurae” https://structurae.net