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

  1. Malcolm says:

    The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in the world. Love the little history behind it.

  2. Malcolm says:

    Really interesting info…The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in the world.

  3. Flexispy says:

    really very great stuff, keep posting.

  4. John says:

    I had no idea about the Brooklyn Bridge and I’ve lived in Park Slope all of my life. Great article.

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  6. Good article! Thank a ton for the info! I appreciate it!

  7. Sage says:

    I was always fascinated by this bridge growing up. Thanks for the little history lesson!

  8. Bill says:

    While my only real connections to Brooklyn are that my father was born there (in 1910) and my grandfather had a shop there (paints and lacquers, I believe). His “claim to fame” was convincing the railroads – which ones, I don’t know – to use lacquer in place of shellac or varnish on their wooden windows to prevent sticking in damp weather. It’s a slim connection, but the few times I’ve visited the area, it’s intrigued me with its variety and “aliveness” – not everything has been “modernized”, which is what they did to Hartford – my nearest city. It, too, used to be alive, but then the 60s and 70s hit, and the spirit is gone.

    But that’s not exactly why I’m writing. For some time now, I’ve enjoyed the “Photo of the Week” in my email. The last one I received was dated August 11, 2016, so I’m wondering if I have a problem here or if you’ve changed your email offerings. If the feature is still available, I’d love to get reconnected. Thanks for any help you can offer.

    Best wishes,
    Bill
    Windsor, CT

  9. the mad russian says:

    The photos are always interesting>

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