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Erection of the west and center arches of the Eads Bridge, view looking northeast, September 1873.

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Identifier: N13755

Title: Erection of the west and center arches of the Eads Bridge, view looking northeast, September 1873.

Description: Erection of the west and center arches of the Eads Bridge, view looking northeast from Wharf Street (Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard). As early as 1849, some business leaders sensed that St. Louis would lose its prominence as a commercial center if depended primarily on steamboat freight. They began to call for a railroad bridge that would span the Mississippi River at St. Louis. The bridge's designer, James Eads, had previously worked as a salvage diver, harvesting freight and materials from shipwrecks along the Mississippi River. Though he had never desigend a bridge before, Eads used his underwater experience to inform the design and construction of the bridge. Eads invented a waterproof chamber that would deliver oxygen to men who were working below water on the east abutment and the piers. The chamber became a curiosity that attracted tourists and locals to the construction site. Despite the chamber's success, 119 workers got "the “bends," a painful and potentially fatal problem that occurs when bubbles form in the bloodstream. Fourteen men perished during construction of the bridge.

Rights: UND

Place: United States
Missouri
St Louis

Dates: 1873-09

Type(s): Photograph
Image

Maker/Creator:

Subjects: horizontal
black and white
outdoors
Downtown (Saint Louis, MO)
Wharf Street
Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard
Mississippi River
Eads Bridge (Saint Louis, Mo.)
riverfront
Building
St. Louis Views and River Scenes
levee
Wharves
Transportation
Waterfronts
Public architecture

Permalink:
http://collections.mohistory.org/resource/141736

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