Originally called the New York and Brooklyn Bridge is not only the first longest suspension bridge in the United States, but it has a story to tell that goes way beyond its architectural magnificence.
My husband and I had a rare date during the day. We left the kids with my parents and rented bikes with Bike and Roll. And what did we do? We biked the Brooklyn Bridge from downtown Manhattan. And got the real feel of this legendary bridge.
Bet You Didn’t Know These Brooklyn Bridge Facts
One of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States.
The Brooklyn Bridge was initially designed by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling who died of tetanus leaving his son in charge of the project who later on got paralyzed as a result of decompression sickness, so the direction of the bridge was left to the son’s wife.
It is said that during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, as many as 27 people died, including John Roebling.
On May 30, 1883, a rumor that the bridge was collapsing spread through the crowds on it, causing a stampede. At least 12 people were killed in the ensuing panic.
It was the longest suspension bridge in the world from its opening until 1903, and the first steel-wire suspension bridge.
Con man William McCloundy was sentenced to 2 1/2 years at Sing Sing Prison for “selling” the Brooklyn Bridge to a tourist in 1901.
The bridge was originally called the New York and Brooklyn Bridge. It was officially given the name “Brooklyn Bridge” by the city in 1915.
Since its opening, it has become an icon of New York City, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1972.
The bridge originally carried horse-drawn and rail traffic, with a separate elevated walkway along the centerline for pedestrians and bicycles.
Many people have tried to kill themselves by jumping from the bridge, but not all have succeeded.
In 1919, Giorgio Pessi piloted what was then the world’s largest airplane, the Caproni Ca.5, under the bridge.