John Roebling's groundbreaking construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was a monumental achievement that reflected a new industrial age of technological progress. Proclaimed the "eighth wonder of the world" on its opening on May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the first steel cable suspension bridge and the earliest bridge to use caissons. Spanning 1595.5 feet over the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world at its time of completion. Not only did the bridge provide economic opportunity by connecting the two major metropolises of Brooklyn and Manhattan, but also the beauty of its architecture has became a symbol of national pride. 127 years later, the Brooklyn Bridge still stands as an engineering spectacle and cultural icon visited yearly by tourists.
Thesis: Completed in the late 19th century, the Brooklyn Bridge was the epitome of the forward thinking inventions developed during the Industrial Revolution. The construction of the Brooklyn Bridge was innovative in the incorporation of a unique suspension design made possible by strong steel cables and stable caissons. Whether it's the aesthetic architecture influencing culture, the economic link from Brooklyn to Manhattan stimulating business, or the modern engineering design enhancing safety, the Brooklyn Bridge made New York City the most important commercial center of the United States.
"The contemplated work, when constructed in accordance with my design, will not only be the greatest bridge in existence, but it will be the great engineering work of the continent and of the age."
- John Roebling, the creator of the Brooklyn Bridge
"Heaven looks at you from the Brooklyn Bridge"
-Frank Sinatra "Brooklyn Bridge"
"The cables that hold up (the Brooklyn Bridge) on big stone piers are beautiful and not hidden. It's metal in your face? taking traditional material and putting it to use in a way that you can see what it can do"
-Architect Alan Goodheart