The whole weight of the bridge still sits upon a 15-foot thickness of southern yellow pine wood under the sediment.
He later deemed the sandy subsoil overlying the bedrock 30 feet (9.1 m) below it to be firm enough to support the tower base, and construction continued.— was opened for use on May 24, 1883.
Thousands of people attended the opening ceremony, and many ships were present in the East Bay for the occasion. Arthur and Mayor Franklin Edson crossed the bridge to celebratory cannon fire and were greeted by Brooklyn Mayor Seth Low when they reached the Brooklyn-side tower.
When New York magazine visited one of the cellars in 1978, it discovered on the wall a "fading inscription" reading: "Who loveth not wine, women and song, he remaineth a fool his whole life long." The bridge was conceived by German immigrant John Augustus Roebling, who had previously designed and constructed shorter suspension bridges, such as Roebling's Delaware Aqueduct in Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania, and the John A.
Roebling Suspension Bridge between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Kentucky.
Because of this, the Brooklyn Bridge is still standing when many of the bridges built around the same time have vanished or been replaced.
This is also in spite of the substitution of inferior quality wire in the cabling supplied by the contractor J.
Emily Warren Roebling was the first to cross the bridge.
The bridge's main span over the East River is 1,595 feet 6 inches ( On May 17, 1884, P. Barnum helped to squelch doubts about the bridge's stability—while publicizing his famous circus—when one of his most famous attractions, Jumbo, led a parade of 21 elephants over the Brooklyn Bridge.
The bridge's two towers were built by floating two caissons, giant upside-down boxes made of southern yellow pine, in the span of the East River, and then beginning to build the stone towers on top of them until they sank to the bottom of the river.
Compressed air was pumped into the caissons, and workers entered the space to dig the sediment, until the caissons sank to the bedrock.
At the time it opened, and for several years, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world—50% longer than any previously built—and it has become a treasured landmark.