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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Williamsburg Bridge: 1902

Williamsburg Bridge: 1902

New York circa 1902. "New East River bridge from Brooklyn." The Williamsburg Bridge under construction. Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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The missing people

There are quite many people in the picture if you look close enough. The scale of the bridge is just so vast that the humans are lot smaller in the picture than you would first assume. Easiest three to spot are on left side of the pier at the front, where are some gravel mounds next to them.

Tiny Tank Locomotive

Appears to be standard gauge.

A Handsome Structure

Next to the Brooklyn Bridge, I've always regarded this crossing to and from Manhattan to be the handsomest. Others will say it can't hold a candle to the GW Bridge, but that was built in an entirely different era.

Must be Sunday

I didn't spot a single human figure in the photo.

Former record holder

When it was built it had the longest span for a suspension bridge. Held that record until the Manhattan Bridge was finished.

Loop da loop

When I opened Shorpy today I only saw part of this picture and thought it was a cool old roller coaster. I'm a little disappointed it's only a cool old bridge.

View is of, not from, Brooklyn

Contrary to the caption this photo was taken from Manhattan, not Brooklyn.

[It depends on how you look at it. The caption is Manhattan-centric -- saying this is the new bridge from Brooklyn. - Dave]

How did they do that?

Engineering projects like this are way beyond my imagination and I usually don't question what I don't understand but how did they build this without any workers? Are they invisible?

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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