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The Brooklyn Bridge Part V: Builder of the Brooklyn Bridge:  Frank Farrington, the Master Mechanic

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Once the towers of the Brooklyn Brige were in place, cabling the bridge became a major event. All river traffic stopped. Huge crowds watched as the workers labored to connect the cables across the East River. On August 14, 1876, the first slender wire was strung from tower to tower. The headline in the Brooklyn Eagle proclaimed: “Wedded!” while the  New York Tribune considered it “an engagement.”

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To this single strand, other wires would be added. Emily Roebling selected Frank Farrington, the master mechanic, to do the bridge crossing by cable. Farrington showed the untrained workers how safe it would be to work so high in the air. [He had given a number of highly popular lantern-slide lectures at Cooper Union and the Brooklyn Music Hall.] On August 25, he rode in a boatswain’s chair tied to a wire rope. At one point, he tipped his hat to the crowd of 10,000 people below. His trip took 22 minutes. Today, you can walk across the bridge in 20 minutes or jog across in eight minutes.

NYC Walks Blog 28 The Brooklyn Bridge Part V: Builder of the Brooklyn Bridge:  Frank Farrington, the Master Mechanic © 2018 by Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg

 

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