The early days of the Williamsburg Bridge

Opened in December 1903, the Williamsburg Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world (until 1924, that is). Here it is in a 1907 postcard, tinged with green and blue just like the sky above and the East River waters below it.


Opening day of the bridge was filmed by Thomas Edison; it features officials in top hats, members of the press carrying big boxy cameras, a brass band, and lots of ribbons. Watch the clip here.

Fast-forward 45 years, and the bridge (as well as a lot of the old Lower East Side) is featured in the film noir The Naked City. Follow a police chase on foot and by car (and catch great glimpses of a subway on its way to Brooklyn) here.

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3 Responses to “The early days of the Williamsburg Bridge”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    Must of looked very interesting before Robert Moses built the East River Park, with Avenue D looking like this

    and before the yuppies came in and depeopled the Lower East Side

  2. snapshotsnyc Says:

    The Williamsburg Bridge is one of my favorite places in New York. And that Edison video was awesome.

  3. Your ticket to cross the new Williamsburg Bridge | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Before coin tokens came into use, passengers riding the New York City subway in its early days needed a paper ticket—and apparently a paper ticket also allowed you to take a trolley across the Williamsburgh (note the h!) Bridge after it opened in 1903. […]

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