Is that a “Pinky Ring”?

Aug 15, 2018 | News, SJCC

Yup.  It’s a “pinky ring”.  Get over it.  Respect it.  Keep reading.

I wear one on the outside finger of my right hand. If you live in Canada, there’s a good chance you’ve seen an engineer or two wearing one also. The story is a classic. A classic tragedy, unfortunately.

The ring is worn on the outside finger of the engineer’s working hand. It is a constant reminder of the engineer’s duty to protect the public.

The ring that many engineers, more in Canada probably than in America, wear is a result of several deaths of construction workers during the erection of a Canadian bridge in 1907. During the bridge’s construction, it collapsed. Seventy-five (75) workers died. Only nine years later, on the second attempt to build this bridge, the same thing happened. More death.  These construction accidents were not unique.

The myth goes that that metal was used to make the rings currently on the hands of so many engineers in Canada who have gone through the ceremony. Well, that’s not true, but can’t be too far from the truth. The originators of the “obligation” I doubt would have had a problem with it had this metal we all wear on our fingers be that of the collapsed structure.

The ritual was created in 1922 in Canada and was later emulated in the United States at Cleveland State University in 1970.

We as engineers must always remember our ultimate duty: earning the trust of the public through consistent protection of same.

The original Canadian ceremony can be read about here. The American version is here.

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