Who built the Brooklyn Bridge? Engineer John Roebling and his son, Washington, built the world’s then-longest suspension bridge in New York City back in 1870. The bridge was completed in 1883, after 13 years.
In the 1860′s, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. But Roebling had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.
Who built the Brooklyn Bridge? A disabled engineer
Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was also paralyzed and disabled by his work on the site.
“We told them so.” “Crazy men and their crazy dreams.” “It’s foolish to chase wild visions.”
Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roebling’s were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built.
In spite of his handicap, Washington developed a code of communication with his wife. For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.
The answer to Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge? is perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal. (Thanks to Sedgewood Commons for this article, adapted from the Sedgewood Commons newsletter!)