Brooklyn bridge, also called as the 8th wonder of the world, was built “to bridge” the gap between the two city hall’s of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Before the bridge, the only way to travel was by a ferry and so the two mayors decided upon building a bridge and hence we have it now.
Here are some interesting facts about the bridge which you should know.
1. Strange Death
The architect John Roebling, died a strange death after he had his foot crushed by a ferry. He was asked by the doctors to get his leg amputated but he instead insisted on “soaking it in the water”. He died a month later.
Source: businessinsider, Image: wikipedia
2. Took Two Generations to Complete
After the death of Roebling, his son, Washington, initiated to complete the bridge and therefore it was completed in 1883. Meanwhile, Washington became bed ridden because of Caisson’s disease and the work was led further by his wife.
Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
3. Have Full Hands
What is it like to work with your bare hands 24 hours per day? Well, ask the labor used to construct the bridge! According to the sources, the labor used hands to dig up.
Source: businessinsider, Image: flickr
4. Death Rate
Almost 20-30 people died during the construction of the bridge, either by falling off or because of debris falling over them.
Source: ef.com, Image: nyctimes.com
Washington’s’ wife, Emily Roebling, took over as chief field engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge after her husband became bedridden. Emily was not an engineer, but she understood the plans so thoroughly that she could talk with other engineers. Many people were under the impression that she was the real designer.
Source: ef.com, Image: wikipedia
6. First to Cross The Bridge
Of course after Emily, the first one to the cross the bridge was a rooster! Yes, it’s true! In fact Emily carried the rooster from the Brooklyn side to the Manhattan side as a symbol of victory.
7. Extreme Cold
The bridge rises about 3 inches if it is extremely cold and has been doing it ever since the bridge was completed.
Source: businessinsider.com, Image: travelamerican.blogspot
There were so many fireworks during the opening of the bridge that the people of New Jersey claimed to witness it.
9. Wine Cellar
The debt of the bridge was paid by renting out a wine cellar for $1,000 per year. There was a second cellar on the Brooklyn side which was rented for $500 per year.
10. Paris cafe
Paris cafe was used by Thomas Edison as his office during the construction of the bridge. He was working on the first operational power station in the world.
Source: businessinsider.in, Image: wikipedia
11. Bomb Shelter
No, not the bridge,silly! In 2006, some workers stumbled upon a vaulted room filled with tons of water, 352,000 packets of crackers, and blankets. There was also a label that said “FOR USE, AFTER ENEMY ATTACK.” Workers also found newspapers from the late 1950s and 1960s, around the time of Sputnik and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Source: businessinsider.in, Image: history.com
12. Names It Had
Brooklyn bridge was initially called the New York and Brooklyn bridge, then it was changed to East River Bridge and finally to Brooklyn bridge in 1915.
In 1883, a woman’s heel got caught in the planks of the pedestrian promenade. As she started screaming, the people around her began to believe that the bridge was about to collapse. Panic ensued and 12 people were trampled to death on the stairways, injuring many others.
14. Where the Strength Lies
The mayor of Brooklyn called upon entrepreneurial showman P.T. Barnum (of a circus!) to march 21 elephants across the Brooklyn Bridge in May of 1884 to show just how sturdy the bridge was.
Brooklyn Bridge is the busiest in the America since 100,000 vehicles commute to the other side excluding 4,000 pedestrians and 2,600 cyclists!
16. Symbol of Many
The bridge has had its chance in front of cameras. Shows and movies includes “The Docks of New York,” “It Happened in Brooklyn,” “Moonstruck,” “Godzilla” and “Spider-Man.” Meanwhile, advertisers have used the bridge to sell everything from Vaseline to Absolut Vodka, and it is even the symbol of an Italian chewing gum!
Source: history.com, Image: ganzomag.com
17. Meet the Tenants
Peregrine falcons, the fastest mammal known, build their nests atop the bridge.