There was a time when the only way to cross a stream or river was by foot, horse, horse and buggy, and of course covered wagon. Later on, areas where currents were too swift or water too deep a barge or ferry was utilized to transport people, horses, and goods. With ever-expanding populations and consequent transportation requirements, the need for bridges was inevitable. There are many historic bridges across America with Pennsylvania claiming the nation's oldest, a stone arch bridge, constructed in 1697 which still carries Frankford Avenue over Pennypack Creek on U.S. Route 13 in Philadelphia.
There are short bridges, long bridges, low bridges and towering bridges. Some are made of wood, such as a covered bridge, older bridges of iron, like the railroad bridges, while others massive hulks of steel, such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Each carries its own poignant story of life and death. Some maintain an eerie presence of ghostly secrets never to be revealed.
This Day in History: May 24, 1883
The world's first steel suspension bridge...
Today's focus is on the world's first steel suspension bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge connecting the great cities of New York and Brooklyn for the first time in history. The Brooklyn Bridge, with its unprecedented length and two stately towers, was dubbed the "eighth wonder of the world."
The Brooklyn Bridge looms majestically over New York City’s East River, linking the two boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Since 1883, its granite towers and steel cables have offered a safe and scenic passage to millions of commuters and tourists, trains and bicycles, pushcarts and cars. The bridge’s construction took 14 years, involved 600 workers and cost $15 million (more than $320 million in today’s dollars). At least two dozen people died in the process, including its original designer. Now more than 125 years old, this iconic feature of the New York City skyline still carries roughly 150,000 vehicles and pedestrians every day. Read MORE by clicking the image...
Currier and Ives print of Brooklyn, 1879