can be readily spotted by the presence of an iron
or stainless steel ring
on the pinky finger
of the working hand. The iron ring is intended as a symbol of humility, and is presented in a ceremony called The Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer
, written by Rudyard Kipling
engineers in 1922. The ceremony is not secret, although many believe it to be. The iron ring has since spread to the United States
and other countries.
An urban legend
associated with the iron ring is that the first rings were made from the wreckage of the failed Quebec Bridge
construction project in 1907. In that case, 75 people were killed. A replacement project in 1913 also failed and 13 workers were killed. While it is unlikely that the original metal came from the bridge, it can be certain that the event figured prominently in the memory of engineers of the day.