October 27, 2014 / by admin / American History / No Comments

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

David McCullough

Language: English

Pages: 636

ISBN: 067145711X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The dramatic and enthralling story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time, a tale of greed, corruption, and obstruction but also of optimism, heroism, and determination, told by master historian David McCullough.

This monumental book is the enthralling story of one of the greatest events in our nation’s history, during the Age of Optimism—a period when Americans were convinced in their hearts that all things were possible.

In the years around 1870, when the project was first undertaken, the concept of building an unprecedented bridge to span the East River between the great cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn required a vision and determination comparable to that which went into the building of the great cathedrals. Throughout the fourteen years of its construction, the odds against the successful completion of the bridge seemed staggering. Bodies were crushed and broken, lives lost, political empires fell, and surges of public emotion constantly threatened the project. But this is not merely the saga of an engineering miracle; it is a sweeping narrative of the social climate of the time and of the heroes and rascals who had a hand in either constructing or exploiting the surpassing enterprise.

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January 27, newsboys in the streets were hollering the surrender of Paris. But the bloodshed had continued for months afterward, as civil war broke out within the city, and the New York papers were filled with grisly accounts of hostages murdered by the Communards. Not until the last of May was Tweed back in the news to any great degree and even then the occasion was a happy one, the publicity just what Tweed wanted. One of Tweed’s daughters, Miss Mary Amelia Tweed, was being married to Mr.

timbers, laid up like tracks, to take the chafe of the block as it made its ascent. A steel wire rope, an inch and a half in diameter, attached to the drum of a powerful steam hoisting engine on the ground, passed first through one pulley, then down to the ground, then up again, through the other pulley, and down to the drum of a second engine. To both of the vertical sections of this continuous rope, running up and down the side of the tower, were attached big hooks that engaged the iron

carrier was approaching New York with its load of wire, the empty carrier would be arriving in Brooklyn to pick up another loop in exactly the way the first one had. When the outgoing carrier reached the New York anchorage, the engine would be stopped at a signal from flagmen and the loop would be slipped off and drawn taut around a shoe there. Then the engine would be reversed, the empty carrier would start its return trip, while the other one would be starting out from Brooklyn with two more

properly. His troubles with his vision, it seems, were confined to things close up. In the fall C. C. Martin was saying the bridge would be finished by the next summer. By the time the first snow was flying, steel beams and suspenders had been strung all the way from tower to tower, and in early December Emily had her own first moment of triumph in a very long time. Presumably, from his window, the Chief Engineer watched the entire ceremony. She had left the house in the early afternoon and was

turning point. It was the beginning of something new, and although none of them appeared very sure what was going to be, they were confident it would be an improvement over the past and present. Henry Murphy, the assistant engineers, “the humblest workman,” were all praised by one speaker or another and Kingsley, Seth Low, and Hewitt each in his way extolled the genius of the Roeblings. Hewitt compared John A. Roebling to Leonardo da Vinci but said Colonel Roebling was an even greater engineer

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