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Seven Wonders of Capitalism

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  • must have been payed by private funds
  • has to be amazing

I know of one:

The Széchenyi Chain Bridge


The Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Hungarian: Lánchíd) is a suspension bridge that spans the River Danube between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. It was the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Budapest, and was opened in 1849.

The bridge has the name of István Széchenyi, a major supporter of its construction, attached to it, but is most commonly known as the Chain Bridge. At the time of its construction, it was regarded as one of the modern world's engineering wonders. It has asserted an enormous significance in the country's economic, social and cultural life, much as the Brooklyn Bridge has in New York and America. Its decorations made of cast iron, and its construction, radiating calm dignity and balance, have elevated the Chain Bridge to a high stature in Europe. It became a symbol of advancement, national awakening, and the linkage between East and West.

The bridge was designed by the English engineer William Tierney Clark in 1839, after Count István Széchenyi's initiative in the same year, with construction supervised locally by Scottish engineer Adam Clark (no relation). It is a larger scale version of William Tierney Clark's earlier Marlow Bridge, across the River Thames in Marlow, England.

It was funded to a considerable extent by the Greek merchant Georgios Sinas who had considerable financial and land interests in the city and whose name is inscribed on the base of the south western foundation of the bridge on the Buda side.

The bridge was opened in 1849, and thus became the first permanent bridge in the Hungarian capital, after the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. At the time, its center span of 202 metres (663 ft) was one of the largest in the world. The lions at each of the abutments were carved in stone by the sculptor, Marschalko János [2]. They are visibly similar in design to the famous bronze lions of Trafalgar Square by Edwin Henry Landseer with Marochetti (commissioned 1858, installed 1867), but they were earlier - installed 1852 [3]. They are also smaller (and appear from below to lack tongues). The bridge was given its current name in 1898.

It was designed in sections and shipped from the United Kingdom to Hungary for final construction.

Any other wonders out there :) ?

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The Great Northern Railway 100px-Great_Northern_Herald.png

The only privately funded transcontinental railroad

over 8000 miles of track at its height.

According wikipedia was the inspiration for Taggart Transcontinental railroad in Atlas shrugged

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The Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet 320px-Pan_Am_Boeing_747_at_Zurich_Airport_in_May_1985.jpg

After Boeing lost the bid to build the C-5 they turned there attention back to the civilian market and convinced Pan-Am to go in with them to develop what would become the 747. The 747 design was not the same that Boeing pitched to the USAF that design had a highwing configuration.




735,000 lb


7,900 SM

I flew in One of these as a kid that was operated by the Flying Tigers Airlines, we flew from LA to Okinawa, I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. During the flight I was allowed in the cockpit and the copilot let me sit in the seat, spectacular.

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A bit of trivia: The first skyscrapers began coming up in the 1870’s to 1880’s in New York City and Chicago. <snip> [t]he majority of the skyscrapers were privately owned, usually by private businessesgherkin.jpg

This is the 'gherkin' in London. It’s half owned by IVG Immobilien AG, the European real estate giant, which trades on Germany’s Xetra. The other major owner, Evans Randall, is a privately owned company. Link to contributing site.

Edited by dream_weaver
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How about roads? Are there any roads out there built not from taxpayer money?

Road building is a technology that's thousands of years old, developed initially in the Roman Empire. The basic technology hasn't changed much, just the materials used. As such, not sure any single road would qualify without some new unique characteristic that distinguished it from other roads in it's design and construction.

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I see...

Than what about cars and computers?

Computers were developed primarily by the military at first. IIRC ENIAC was initially developed for rapid ballistic trajectory calculations.

Cars? That's a good potential candidate

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Do whole industries count?

The video game industry, the movie industry, the oil, auto, and aviation industries, etc. etc. Industries were created by companies taking big risks on unknown technologies and new products with no certainty of payback, and I would call the results a Wonder of Capitalism!

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No, we need specific things.

A specific scientific theory or discovery could qualify as well.

Computers were developed primarily by the military at first. IIRC ENIAC was initially developed for rapid ballistic trajectory calculations.

So were spaceships by NASA and the USSR.

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As somebody who is emphatically not a gambler, I always tell people they need to see Las Vegas. As a spectacle I'd rank it with other wonders such at the Pyramids in Egypt (which they have there as well :-)). Seriously, though, it's an amazing feat of humankind.

All that said, it's important to not use the same yardstick in defining "greatness" as the typical Monument. Values that individuals actually want to pay for themselves are typically not "grandiose"--they are, as it were, individual-sized.

On that note, how about all of the major diseases and ailments cured by private drug companies?

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  • 1 month later...

Dragon arrives at space station in historic 1st

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The privately bankrolled Dragon capsule made a historic arrival at the International Space Station on Friday, triumphantly captured by astronauts wielding a giant robot arm.


is the first private company to accomplish such a feat: a commercial cargo delivery into the cosmos.
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  • 1 month later...

Silicon Valley is probably the greatest wonder of capitalism, though it might not fit all your criteria.

How about the Petronas Twin Towers? I believe they're privately constructed and privately owned. They're the tallest twin buildings in the world, and definitely have the "shining beacon of capitalism" look.


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  • 6 months later...

Asteroid-Mining Project Aims for Deep-Space Colonies

"A new asteroid-mining company launched Tuesday with the goal of helping humanity expand across the solar system by tapping the vast riches of space rocks.

"The new firm, called Deep Space Industries, Inc., announced today (Jan. 22) that it plans to launch a fleet of prospecting spacecraft in 2015, then begin harvesting metals and water from near-Earth asteroids within a decade or so. Such work could make it possible to build and refuel spacecraft far above our planet's surface, thus helping our species get a foothold in the final frontier.


"Planetary Resources could prove to be a tough competitor. It was founded by private-spaceflight pioneers Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson, and its deep-pocketed investors include Google execs Larry Page and Eric Schmidt.

Another contender, taking us from being limited to a ball of natural resources to pioneering the mining of the solar system.

Edited by dream_weaver
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  • 10 months later...

Another impressive feat of engineering lauched Dec. 4th, 2013, the Prelude FLNG


It's being compared to the Empire State Building, in that the ship is longer than the building is tall.


Designed to withstand a category 5 storm, it touts an innovative appoach to produce and offload liquid natural gas at reduced costs compared with other methods.


According the Royal Dutch Shell website, it is the largest floating production facility in the world.



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