8 Intriguing Facts About the Brooklyn Bridge

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

Brooklyn Bridge - New York
Photo: Brooklyn Bridge - Lukas Schlagenhauf via Flickr
Since it's opening, the Brooklyn Bridge has been a New York icon. With a history that dates back to the Gilded Age, it has inspired and piqued the interest of millions all over the world.

Check out these 8 intriguing facts about the

Brooklyn Bridge...

1. It was the 1st bridge in the world to use steel wire suspension cables instead of iron.

The Gilded Age was a time filled with all kinds of technological advances. So, of course, bridges like many other things were constantly being pushed to the next technological limits. But just to be safe, John Roebling (the German immigrant who designed the bridge) made plans for the bridge to be 6 times stronger than necessary.

Brooklyn Bridge
Photo: Brooklyn Bridge - Mike Sinko via Flickr

2. John Roebling, the designer of the bridge, died from a tetanus infection before the construction started.

While he was surveying, his feet were injured in a ferry accident that left him with a tetanus infection that incapacitated him and ultimately killed him. The tetanus vaccine wouldn't be invented for another 55 years. John put his son, Washington, in charge of the project shortly before he died. Construction was successfully started and completed, overseen by Washington Roebling.

John Roebling
Photo: John Roebling - Brooklyn Museum Collection [public domain] via Wikimedia

3. At the time of its opening in 1883, it was the world's longest suspension bridge.

It held this world record for two decades. It was about 50% longer than any other suspension bridge previously built. The nearby Williamsburg Bridge broke the record in 1903.

brooklyn bridge
Photo: Brooklyn Bridge via Flickr