Newsletter #23 – 26 July 2019 – Seniors

The story of the Brooklyn bridge and how we overcome obstacles.

This bridge in America, spans the river Ohio between Manhattan and Brooklyn.  In 1883, engineer, John Roebling dreamed of a suspension bridge that would make the commute easier for working class New Yorkers.  However, bridge-building experts told him to forget it, it just wasn’t possible!

Roebling convinced his son, Washington, an up-and-coming engineer, that the bridge could be built and the two of them worked out how to overcome the obstacles.  Somehow, they convinced bankers to finance the project and then hired a crew to build their dream bridge.

The project was only a few months under way when a tragic on-site accident killed John Roebling and severely injured his son.  Washington was severely brain-damaged, unable to talk or walk.  Everyone thought the project would have to be scrapped, since the Roebling’s were the only ones who understood how the bridge could be built.

Though Washington was unable to move or talk, his mind was as sharp as ever.  One day as he lay in his hospital bed, an idea flashed in his mind as to how to develop a communication code.  All he could move was one finger, so he touched the arm of his wife with that finger.  He tapped out the code to communicate to her what she was to tell the engineers, who continued building the bridge.

For 13 years, Washington tapped out his instructions with one finger until the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge was finally completed.  At 5, 986 ft. it remained the longest bridge in the world for 20 years. [read more]

 

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