Major Engineering Events in History: The Brooklyn Bridge Built in 1883

About the major engineering events in history, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York is completed in 1883.

Great Engineering Feats from Early Times to the Present

1883 A.D. (The Brooklyn Bridge). The Brooklyn Bridge--cost approximately $15 million--was described as the "8th wonder of the world" when it was completed on May 24, 1883. The longest suspension bridge of its time, spanning the East River in New York between Brooklyn and Manhattan (1,595' between towers), it was designed and initially surveyed by John A. Roebling, a famous bridge builder of the 1880s. When he died from complications resulting from a crushed foot, his son Washington A. Roebling picked up where his father left off. While inspecting the excavations for the bridge foundations, young Roebling was hit by caisson disease, a form of the bends named after the caissons used to keep out water during excavations. Crippled for life and confined to his wheelchair, Washington Roebling continued as chief engineer on the bridge and directed its construction by using field glasses from the window of his apartment located several blocks away.

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