Photo of the Week: John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge

[John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge], ca 1890, v1981.283.55, Burton family papers and photographs, ARC.217; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge], ca 1890, v1981.283.55, Burton family papers and photographs, ARC.217; Brooklyn Historical Society.

The photo of the week depicts the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio. If you look closely, it might remind you of another bridge here in Brooklyn. That’s because both the Brooklyn Bridge and the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge were created by the same civil engineer and designer, John A. Roebling. The above bridge spans the Ohio River to connect Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky, and was completed in 1866. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time, measuring 1,057 feet (Brooklyn Bridge surpassed that at 5,989 feet). Using flexible wire cables designed by Roebling, it was later considered a prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge, an ambitious project to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn by the East River. Unfortunately, Roebling didn’t live to see the completion of his most ambitious project, and died of tetanus from a work-related accident before the Brooklyn Bridge was completed. To learn more about this fascinating history, be sure to check out The Builders of the Bridge: The Story of John Roebling and his Son by D.B. Steinman, available at the Othmer Library.

This photograph comes from the Burton family papers and photographs collection that comprises photographs and personal documents from the Burton family, spanning from 1870 to 1949. To see more photographs from this collection, check out this gallery.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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11 Responses to Photo of the Week: John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge

  1. I never visit this bridge but after reading your blog my interest has generated to watch this.

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