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Steam Under the Bridge: 1906

Steam Under the Bridge: 1906

Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1906. The sidewheeler Cincinnati passing under the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.


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Covington, Kentucky

The camera is looking south toward Covington; the Champion Ice House was still standing in the mid-1980s.

Driving over the Roebling

For those interested, I have a couple movies of driving over the Roebling today on my Web site, Cincinnati Roads.

Here's one of them, going from KY to OH - it includes audio!

Louisville & Cincinnati Packet Co.

Howard's posting of pictures at the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Public Library links to a page about the steel hulled Cincinnati built in 1924. The library does have a page devoted to the older wooden-hull City of Cincinnati including some additional photos of her loss to ice in 1918. My favorite is a photo of City of Cincinnati passing under the Roebling bridge during high water: note the boiler stacks folded down in order to clear the bridge. I'm not sure if this photo shows the opposite bank of the river or if significant waterfront development has occurred. More photos and a history of the Louisville & Cincannti Packet Co. can be found at Cincinnati Views.

Cincinnati Gallery

It's nowhere near up to Shorpy quality, but for what it's worth, the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Public Library has a nice gallery of images of the Cincinnati, including interiors and POV shots, on their wiki here.

Roebling's Signature

This bridge has the Roebling signature all over it. Note the diagonal cables and the design of the stone arches. These are features of his more famous Brooklyn Bridge. And yes, the Brooklyn Bridge would sing too when it had a steel grate auto roadway. The grate has been paved over with macadam, making it a much easier and safer, albeit less melodious, drive.

The Singing Bridge

The Roebling Bridge is known today to Cincinnatians as "The Singing Bridge."

In a development that could not have been anticipated by Roebling, when they added a grated roadway and opened the bridge to automobiles, they found that driving a car across at 30-40 miles per hour sets up sympathetic vibrations that can be heard as a kind of low, melodious hum, as though you were dragging a bow across an enormous violin.

When I need to cross over into Newport or Covington, I make a point to take the Roebling. It's not only a beautiful bridge to see, it's also a beautiful bridge to hear.

City of Cincinnati

The 300-foot packet steamer City of Cincinnati was built by Howard's Shipyard & Dock Co., Jeffersonville, Indiana, in 1898. She plied the waters for 20 years before being crushed by ice at the Cincinnati docks. She is passing under the still existent 1866 bridge designed by John Roebling, better known for building the Brooklyn Bridge.

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