The Brooklyn Bridge was the first bridge to link Manhattan and Brooklyn and is considered to be one of the great engineering triumphs of the 19th century. It measures 3,455 feet, 6 inches long, sits 133 feet above the water, took 13 years to build, and required over 600 workers. Over 20 people died building the bridge, including the bridge’s designer, John Roebling, who died from tetanus contracted when his foot was crushed while surveying the site. His son, Washington, took over construction of the bridge, and in 1872, while diving to supervise underwater work, got the bends and became paralyzed. Though he was confined to his sickbed, he continued to direct the operation from his window overlooking the bridge with the assistance of his wife.
- On opening day, 150,000 people walked across the bridge.
- Originally, there was a toll to cross the bridge. The cost of the toll?…. one cent!
- The bridge was the first to be constructed with steel and, when it opened, was the longest suspension bridge in the world.