of the Brooklyn Bridge and how it was overcome
In the year 1867, a group of well-known leaders formed the New York Bridge Company for the reason of constructing as well as maintaining a bridge across the East River. Via the enabling act, the Brooklyn city subscribed for three million dollars of the capital stock, while the New York City just subscribed for one and a half million dollar. The company was allowed to fix toll rates for pedestrians as well as all kinds of vehicles, getting a profit of no more than 15% per annum.
The bridge was built over fourteen years in the face of huge complicatedness. Roebling died by an accident at the onset; a fire in the Brooklyn Caisson smoldered for a few weeks; Roebling's son, Washington, who occupied the post as chief engineer, endured a crippling attack of the bends during the building of the Manhattan Caisson, and sustained to direct operations, sending messages to the location by his wife, Emily. After the towers were constructed, a cable parted from its port killing two people; there was fraud committed by the cable contractor (Trachtenberg, 1990).
Soon after ground was broken on January 3, 1870, work on the Manhattan and Brooklyn foundations. Life in the caissons was unhappy. Immigrant laborers worked in the profound foundations, paid $2.25 per day to work in perilous circumstances lacking electricity, telephones or other conveniences.
Some of the most horrible accidents of the bridge construction came about during the cable rigging. In June of 1878, a cable strand protected at the New York anchorage broke loose during tuning. The strand flew over the New York tower and into the East River, taking off the head of one rigger and knocking another off the anchorage along the way. Another rigger was steering wire onto a drum.
He kicked at it to maintain it in order, and his foot was caught. His leg was enfolded around the drum, killing him almost instantaneously. Many others died due to falls or falling tools. As a minimum 3 men died of the bends during the caisson work. A few of men were crushed by blocks being swung into place. All told, approximately 27 people died during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge (McCullough, 1983).
There is no authorized figure for the number of men killed constructing the bridge. The Bridge Company accumulated no list, kept no accurate records on the subject, which is feature of the age. In a brochure made up of his Cooper Union talks and issued after the bridge was built, between thirty to forty men died during the work, which is particularly interesting if it is bore in mind that Emily Roebling might have done Farrington's writing for him.