Notes from watching Ken Burns' The Brooklyn Bridge..

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The Brooklyn bridge was the biggest in the world at the time. 

The pillars were taller than anything on the North American continent. 

Completed it 1883 

At the time every one of four bridges were collapsing. 

Roebling (father and son) created the bridge. 

They basically had people digging in compressed air under a huge structure half a city block to get it down to the bedrock. Water all around them and an airlock to get out. 

Basically, they need to get the large platforms on which the towers rest down to bedrock, which on the Brooklyn side wasn't very deep, just like 40 feet, but it was much deeper on the NY side, but over 100 men had died in getting the cassion (the platform) down there, and so it was decided to rest it 30 feet short of bedrock because the sand hadn't moved in millions of years, but it's still dangerous, because it's not on bedrock so it could shift.

Every business was closed, everybody had the day off when the bridge opened.