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The Brooklyn Bridge is a small technological marvel. It was completed in 1883 and at the time it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. It connects the districts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
It was designed by the German engineer John A. Roebling (Johann August Roebling). He had studied at the Royal Polytechnic in Berlin and emigrated to the USA in 1831. In 1841 he founded America's first wire rope factory. From then on, his idea of building the longest and highest suspension bridge in the world took shape. However, 16 years would pass before his plans were approved.
Due to an accident during the construction work, he died suddenly and did not see the completion. His son Washington took over the management of the construction work and used the so-called caisson technique, which he had studied with his wife Emily. Boxes were anchored under water as foundations. Compressed air prevented the water from penetrating. The working conditions were horrific and many workers fell ill with a strange illness. Today we know that it was caisson disease - also known as diving disease - which occurs when people leave hyperbaric chambers too quickly. Roebling also fell ill, suffered from severe pain and remained paralyzed. However, he did not want to stop the construction and watched the progress from his wheelchair.
Emily Roebling took over the management of the gigantic construction site. She negotiated, enforced the Roeblings' quality standards and averted numerous intrigues.
Even in today's world, this achievement would still be extremely remarkable; At the end of the 19th century this was unbelievable for a woman.
On May 24, 1883, the gigantic bridge was opened with a huge festival.
Even today, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge is impressive and an integral part of a stay in New York. On the higher walkway, cross the East River and admire the impressive Manhattan skyline. Almost directly under the bridge is the classy River Café in Brooklyn with an enchanting view. The sight of the Brooklyn Bridge is spectacular during the day, at sunset and at night.
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