Finley, James(1762–1828) civil engineer; born in Pa. He was a judge when he conceived of building a suspension bridge with masonry towers and wrought-iron chains. His first bridge was completed in 1801, and in 1810 he built a 244-foot span across the Merrimack River at Newburyport, Mass. Finley's bridges are known for their solidity.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.