Bridges

New York is home to some of the most famous bridges in the world, with nearly all of the major ones setting or breaking records. The Queensboro Bridge was the longest cantilever bridge in North America when it opened in 1909, and the George Washington Bridge was the world's longest suspension bridge when it opened in 1931. The George Washington Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge are considered among the most beautiful in the world. The H.A Dunne collection of vintage images of New York City’s bridges, includes some of the most compelling images of some of the worlds most famous bridges—including photos of the Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Manhattan, Queensboro, and George Washington bridges throughout their construction. Our collection of vintage images of NYC’s bridges is as deep and wide as the rivers they cross. What’s here is just the tip of the iceberg. To see more, or to source a particular image, call us at: 888-250-8956.

Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan Skyline at Dusk, 1956

Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan Skyline at Dusk, 1956

Sun sets over New York City, and the city begins to glow with its own light. The spires of the Lower Manhattan skyscrapers, including the Cities Services Building and the Woolworth Building, can be seen beyond the Brooklyn Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge. The skyline of today would not be extremely different. Most notable, perhaps, is the absence of lights coming from the South Street Seaport, which in 1956 was not a tourist destination, but a working fish market.

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Manhattan Bridge Under Construction, 1909

Manhattan Bridge Under Construction, 1909

The Manhattan Bridge, which connects Lower Manhattan with the Brooklyn neighborhood formerly known as Fulton Landing, was the last of the suspension bridges to span the East River, following the Brooklyn and Williamsburg bridges, respectively. In this photo, taken from Main Street near the Brooklyn Piers in 1909, you can see the Brooklyn Tower and the beginning of the Deck construction. In recent years, this neighborhood has been renamed DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) and has become quite a trendy place to live.

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Queensboro Bridge from Second Avenue, 1914

Queensboro Bridge from Second Avenue, 1914

Pedestrians and some horse-drawn vehicles can be seen crossing the 59th Street Bridge from Second Avenue in Manhattan. The pedestrians seem to outnumber the vehicular traffic, although both are light by today's standards. The buildings to the south of the bridge are painted with a variety of advertisements, including for Coca-Cola, Wallach's Superior Laundry, Omega Oil for Sore Muscles, Puffed Rice, and Castoria.

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Workman Erecting Steel on the Queensboro Bridge, 1907

Workman Erecting Steel on the Queensboro Bridge, 1907

A workman on the Queensboro Bridge plies his trade high above the East River in 1907. The view is northwest from Blackwell's Island, which was later renamed Roosevelt Island, toward Manhattan. In the background, on Manhattan Island, are the warehouses of the American Malting Company, which was forced to reorganize in 1906 as the American Malting Corporation.

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Queensboro Bridge Under Construction, 1907

Queensboro Bridge Under Construction, 1907

Looking east from Manhattan toward Blackwell's Island on March 8, 1907, you would have seen the partially completed Queensboro Bridge. Originally called the Blackwell's Island Bridge, the Queensboro was completed and opened to the public in 1909, about two years after this photo was taken. At the time it opened, it was the longest cantilever bridge in North America.

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Performing the Rite of Tashlikh on the Williamsburg Bridge, 1910

Performing the Rite of Tashlikh on the Williamsburg Bridge, 1910

Every year for hundreds of years on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, Jews perform the Rite of Tashlikh, casting crumbs of bread, symbolic of their sins, into a flowing body of water. Here, in 1910, a group of women and girls cast their sins off from the Williamsburg Bridge into the East River. Jews in New York City still perform Tashlikh on the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

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Workers on the George Washington Bridge, 1930

Workers on the George Washington Bridge, 1930

Here's a view you don't often see. Nine men casually posing for a photo atop the cables of the incomplete George Washington Bridge. There's not one wearing a harness. The George Washington Bridge, initially named, the Hudson River Bridge was built between October, 1927 and October 1931. This photo, taken in 1930, shows the bridge pretty far along, although clearly the roadways are not there yet.

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Brooklyn Terminal, Brooklyn Bridge, 1903

Brooklyn Terminal, Brooklyn Bridge, 1903

This view, looking west from the Brooklyn Terminal across the Brooklyn Bridge, shows the orderly organization of the bridge.  Streetcars and horse-drawn carriages ran along the outer roadways, elevated trains along the inner tracks, and pedestrians walked along a central walkway.  Of course, the smoke exhausted by the various factories and trains must have made the journey on foot a breath-taking one.

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Brooklyn Bridge from the Heights, 1910

Brooklyn Bridge from the Heights, 1910

This view northwest from Brooklyn Heights captures almost the entire span of the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River flowing beneath it.  The Manhattan skyline that is visible in the distance is noticeably flat.  City Hall and the Woolworth Building are out of view, southwest of the span, and other skyscrapers of the day are too far north to be seen.

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