By Mary J. Shapiro
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Extra resources for A Picture History of the Brooklyn Bridge
As he explained to a reporter, he decided that the Bridge Company could not yet afford to lose its president. ' 73. Top of the Brooklyn tower and footbridge. 1877. For a time, the footpath was open to tourists, and all one had to do to gain access was ask for a ticket at the bridge office. Eventually the number of sightseers became so numerous that this privilege was disconinued. Workmen often had to be called away from their jobs to cue a terrified man or woman immobilized by fear of the dizzying and unsettling sway of the footbridge.
In fact, however, the rollers never worked. Because of the tremendous weight of the cables, the rollers soon became embedded in the iron plate on which they rested. However, the towers were saved from damaging lateral strain by the wooden caissons which provided their foundation. The thickness of the wood afforded enough of a cushion for the towers to rock on their bases, thus alleviating strains on the masonry from unbalanced cable-pull. 55 . ' 80. Side view of cables, Brooklyn anchorage, 1877.
And by May the first of the anchor plates was successfully cast. 000 pounds, just transporting and placing them in the right position was a major logistical feat. 60. The Brooklyn anchorage. 1873. Each anchor had two rows of nine oblong openings into which 18 wrought-iron eyebars would be placed. A large steel pin which slipped through the "eyes"' of the eyebars below the anchor holds them in place. By summer, all four plates in the Brooklyn anchorage had been installed and the work of constructing the double chain of eyebars and building up the masonry around them could begin.