Item No: pdcl00186
Title: Wire bridge on the Schuylkill River at Spring Garden Street
Additional Title: Wire Bridge on the Schuylkill River at Spring Garden Street, circa 1875
Print and Picture Collection
"This was the first successful wire suspension bridge in America. It was built in 1842 by Charles Ellet, and connected Spring Garden Street with West Philadelphia. This photograph was made just before the bridge was removed in 1875, to be replaced by a structure of steel. The Fairmount Water Works and the Standpipe are seen at the left, and the skyline, from right to center, marks the former reservoir, now the site of the Philadelphia Museum of Art."--OPEP, p. 192.
The suspension bridge. Metal fence above stone wall and stacks of lumber along wall below road. People on sidewalk; streetcar and horse-drawn cart on Spring Garden; trees and wall in background on right and buildings on left. Sign on bridge column: "Walk your horses over the bridge...firing of guns prohibited...for each offence twenty dollars penalty."
Reprinted in: Old Philadelphia in early photographs, 1839-1914/edited by Robert F. Looney. New York: Dover Publications, c1976.