Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, 1883.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Lithograph showing a bird's eye view of the suspension bridge connecting Brooklyn to New York, during its opening on Thursday 24 May 1883. The river is crowded with sailing vesels. Designed by John Roebling, this suspension bridge over the East River was heralded as one of the most important construction projects of the 19th century. When completed it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Roebling died of tetanus in 1869 after his foot was crushed in an accident during construction. His son, Washington, took over as chief engineer, and saw the project to its succesful conclusion with the asistance of his wife Emily after Washington himself was incapacitated by an attack of the bends suffered while working below the river bed.