Some Notable Facts
The Brooklyn Bridge is the longest suspension bridge of its era and when built, was the highest free standing structure of the Northern hemisphere. With a span of over six thousand feet, on ramps included, the bridge incorporates ropes made from steel, which were manufactured six times stronger than required for supports.
Workers lives were lost during the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Whilst no official records were maintained, a booklet compiled by the Master Mechanic named Farrington and supported by Chief Engineer William Kingsley, stated that twenty men died. This again is supported by newspaper reports and on occasions in minutes of the Bridge Company meetings.
A bridge of “Firsts:" The Brooklyn Bridge was the original suspension bridge to utilize steel for the cable wire and the usage of pneumatic caissons. Another dangerous first is the use of explosives within the confines of a caisson. It is also recorded that at the time of completion, this 3460 feet in length suspension bridge was the longest of its kind in the world, being fifty percent longer than any other suspension bridge!
A bridge of “Height:" The towers loom 276½ feet above the water at high tide. As a comparison in 1883, the spire of Trinity church was 281 feet. From the roadway, the towers reach a height of 159 feet and the tower arches 117 feet. The height of the roadbed from the water is 135 feet.
Bridge Calamities: during the building of the Brooklyn Bridge those included the death of John A. Roebling and the illness and disablement of his son, Washington. Other occurrences that took place were a caisson fire, an explosion, and the discovery of fraud on the part of a contractor.
The Brooklyn Bridge opened - May 24, 1883, 2:00 pm. On that day, the Irish workers demonstrated with a protest against “Opening Day" coinciding with the birthday of Queen Victoria of England.