The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883, the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its completion. It was also the first bridge to connect Manhattan to Brooklyn and played an important role in the consolidation of the five boroughs of New York City in the late 1890s. As you walk across this bridge and learn about its history, you can take in the wonderful views of the skylines of Manhattan and Brooklyn, and look out toward New York’s famous harbor.
Brooklyn Bridge Tour Highlights:
- Festivities celebrating the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883 were quickly followed by a fatal stampede as fears spread that the bridge would collapse. The following year, the impresario P.T. Barnum sought to demonstrate the sturdiness of the bridge by escorting Jumbo and 20 other elephants across this long bridge span.
- John and Washington Roebling, the bridge’s engineers, suffered a fatal accident and a severe ailment as they pushed to complete their ambitious civil engineering project.
- The dangers to workers, especially the “sandhogs” who worked below ground, were numerous. And more than 20 people died during the bridge’s construction.
- The Brooklyn Bridge featured many engineering innovations including the use of massive caissons (two massive bottomless wooden boxes) that enabled workers to create a secure foundation for the towers, and the spinning of the steel wire into the four thick cables that support the weight of this bridge.
- The design of the bridge, which features Gothic arches embedded in the stone towers, and the the iconic crisscrossing of the suspender and radiating cables.
- How the Roebling family was scammed and ended-up incorporating sub-standard wire into the primary support cables. Fortunately, the bridge was overbuilt and the existence of inferior wire did not pose a threat to the stability of the bridge.
If you have questions about this Brooklyn Bridge tour or other tours, please contact Doug: