Truss bridges are largely an invention of the Industrial Revolution. There are numerous styles of truss bridges, but the lattice truss bridge is one of the earliest designs and was patented in 1820 by architect Ithiel Town.
Beam bridge construction flourished during the early years of the Industrial Revolution, and various engineers tried different truss concepts to perfect this design. The two basic forms of a truss bridge are the through truss and the deck truss. The through truss bridge has the truss above the roadway, while the deck truss features a truss below the roadway. Town's lattice truss bridge featured a through truss design.