Building the Bridge
The bridge was designed by German immigrant John Roebling, who died in 1869, just before construction began, from complications of a freak accident at the bridge site. His son, Washington Roebling, stepped in, but in 1872 fell ill after working in the bridge’s underwater caissons. Washington’s wife, Emily Roebling, took over day-to-day construction duties. She studied civil engineering and dealt with politicians, engineers and workers involved in the project, seeing it through to completion.