Thursday, June 18,1931
Brooklyn Standard Union

News  ''Bridges''


  It is impossible to speak about bridges in Brooklyn without thinking
of the first of the East River bridges and of the great men who built it.
There had been talk of spanning the East River for many years, and
as early as 1810 plans were made for a single-span bridge over the river.
  The picture that was drawn to illustrate the plan shows a vast arch of
more than a mile length,something like that bridges that cross the park
roadways to-day. At the Brooklyn end were to be two tall towers, some-
thing like Gothic church steeples.In the sketch beneath are several ships,
including one steamboat of the Clermont type built by Robert FULTON
only three years previously. Needless to say, nothing came of it and
in spite of considerable discussion of an East River bridge nothing
was done until John Augustus ROEBLING devised the suspension
bridge of the type we know so well.

  ROEBLING was a German, born in Prussia in 1806, who came to the
United States to practice the profession of engineering he had learned
at the Polytechnic school in Berlin.He is the real father of the suspension
bridge idea, and in 1831, when he came to the United States, he established
a manufactory of wire rope in Pittsburgh without which the suspension
bridge would have been impossible. In 1845 he built his first suspension
bridge, an aqueduct across the Allegheny River.Shortly afterwards he
built the Monongahela suspension bridge at Pittsburgh, and several
suspended aqueducts over the Delaware and Hudson canal.

  In 1867 he completed a great suspension bridge over the Ohio River
at Cincinnati, with a span of 1,057 feet, and by that time the engineering
world accepted him and his works for their great worth.The greatest
result of that bridge was the fact that it led to the acceptance of his
plans for the Brooklyn Bridge.

  While making plans and personally handling material for the Brooklyn
Bridge,ROEBLING received an injury and in 1869 he died of tetanus.
  His son, Washington Augustus ROEBLING, scarcely less distinguished
took the plans and modified them, and made the present bridge grow
under his hands.

  The Brooklyn Bridge was finally completed and placed in operation
May 24,1883, amid great rejoicing, but with considerable misgiving.
In his autobigraphy, Alfred E.SMITH, who was born in the shadows of 
the masonry tower at the New York end, tells of the fears that the 
bridge would collapse and of the death of a number of people on the
day it was dedicated.

  But outside the results of the panic fear on the day, there has been
no mishap in the 48 years of the existence of the bridge.It remains
a notable structure and a monument to two great men, the
ROEBLINGS, father and son.


  The celebration of the opening of the new roadway over the
Manhattan Bridge to-day is more than merely the dedication of a 
relatively minor public improvement.It is more than merely the
opening of a new passageway for automobiles.

  As compared with the bridge itself, the subways already in operation
and others about to be placed in operation, the new roadway does
not bulk very large in the public mind.

  But in a very real sense to-day's celebration places at the disposal
of the people of Brooklyn the equivalent of the new bridge.It marks
the opening of a new highway that will draw the people of Manhattan
and its great enterprises more closely than ever before to the
people of the city's greatest and most populous borough, their
greatest customers.

  To-day's celebration is the begining of an improvement that means
ultimately the creation of one of the finest highways in the country, 
a direct and well-paved route from Manhattan and the country around
about to the heart of Brooklyn, to Long Island and to the great
shore resort.

  Beginning to-day streams of automobiles will begin to use the
new roadway, using the magnificent, broad highway up the
Extension, as their route into Brooklyn and Long Island. And that
new movement cannot but start the movement for the beautification
of the Extension, its conversion into one of the finest highways in
the world, as it already is in its possibilities.

  The new automobile highway will accommodate close to 40,000
passenger automobiles each day, going eastward.They will leave
the congested streets of New York; the shops, the businesses,
the theatres, the stores and hotels, and they will bring their passengers
to the broad highways, the tree-shaded streets, the homes and the
educational institutions of Brooklyn.

  The new roadway will lead directly to the downtown business
section at the Brooklyn end of the Manhattan Bridge, to the schools
and colleges that cluster about the downtown section of Brooklyn,
to New York's great Navy Yard, and straight to Prospect Park, to
Coney Island, to the highways leading to the Rockaways and to
Long Beach and other great seaside resorts.

  It will mean a great leap forward.All Brooklyn has been looking
forward to the improvement, but it will benefit Manhattan no less
than our own borough.And in appreciation of the city-wide importance
of the improvement to-day's celebration is distinguished by the
presence of the Mayor of the city, the Commissioner of Plant and
Structures who built the highway, and other high public officials
of the city and the borough.

  When the scissors, presented by Mayor Benjamin H.NAMM, cut
the silken ribbons across the new roadway,Brooklyn will have
moved a great step forward.

  The soldiers who aid in todays celebration, the men from the 
Navy Yard and the children from the schools in the neighborhood
of the entrance to the bridge are here because they know that 
today marks an important step forward for Brooklyn.

  It is a great day for Brooklyn.
 Programme of Exercises;
 Address- Hon.Samuel LEVY, Borough President of Manhattan.
 Address-Major B.H.NAMM, president of the Namm store.
 Address-Hon.Henry HESTERBERG, Borough President of Brooklyn.
 Address-Rt.Rev.J.I.Blair LARNED, representing Bishop STIRES of Long Island.
 Address- Hon.James J.WALKER, Mayor City of New York.
 Benediction- Dr.Samuel J.LEVINSON, Rabbi Temple Beth Emeth,
		Flatbush, and president Jewish Ministers Association of Brooklyn.
 Band Selection- America, N.Y.Fire Department Band.

 12:05 P.M.- Mayor WALKER and Borough President Henry HESTERBERG
to cut tape at Brooklyn Plaza of Manhattan Bridge. Sanitation
Band to give a concert at plaza, starting at 11:45 A.M.

 12:06 P. M.-Assembly of School Children at Standard Union Square.

 12:10 P.M.-Arrival of Mayor WALKER and committee at main reviewing
stand at Standard Union Square, Johnson street and Flatbush 
avenue extensions.

 12:22 P.M.-Review of U.S.Soldiers and Sailors and N.Y.Police
Rifle Regiment by Mayor WALKER.

 12:30 P.M.-Start of celebration exercises at grand stand with
salute to the Flag by School Children.

 1:30P.M.- Lunch at Tower Room, St.George Hotel, under auspices of
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Brooklyn Association.

 Transcribed for the BKLYN info pages by, Patty82856