On May 24th 1883, the Brooklyn Bridged was opened to the public. 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.
John Augustus Roebling, the Brooklyn Bridge’s creator, was a great pioneer in the design of steel suspension bridges. Born in Germany in 1806, he studied industrial engineering in Berlin and at the age of 25 immigrated to western Pennsylvania, where he attempted, unsuccessfully, to make his living as a farmer. He later moved to the state capital in Harrisburg, where he found work as a civil engineer. He promoted the use of wire cable and established a successful wire-cable factory.
Meanwhile, he earned a reputation as a designer of suspension bridges, which at the time were widely used but known to fail under strong winds or heavy loads. Roebling is credited with a major breakthrough in suspension-bridge technology: a web truss added to either side of the bridge roadway that greatly stabilized the structure.
Using this model, Roebling successfully bridged the Niagara Gorge at Niagara Falls, New York, and the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Ohio.
After the Brooklyn Bridge was opened, on May 17th 1884 P.T. Barnum led twenty one elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge to prove to people how stable the bridge was in handling a load.
Today’s YouTube clip is brought to you by user name Chris Jennings Music, in this clever tune about the future is happening, in a cute little film short called, “Twenty One Elephants,” regarding the Brooklyn Bridge.
The Brooklyn Bridge was dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world.” For several years after its construction, it remained the tallest structure in the Western hemisphere. The connection it provided between the massive population centers of Brooklyn and Manhattan changed the course of New York City forever.
Written and Designed by JD Mitchell