the brooklyn bridge, sans elephants

City Hall Park, ca 1910. The Brooklyn Bridge entrance to the far right.

The Brooklyn Bridge was an engineering feat of huge proportions, one that came to fruition in May, 1883 with a grand opening celebration. Barnum (the original Barnum & Bailey edition) offered to walk his elephants across the bridge (never missed an opportunity to advertise, astute business man that he was). The city turned him down, but he convinced them in the end and walked the elephants across the next year. You’ll note in the photo that the entrance to the bridge is nothing like it is today, and that’s because you couldn’t drive onto it (because really, most transportation was horse-drawn at that point). You paid your money and took a seat on a cable car.

How much do you know about omnibuses?

Antwerp omnibus in the present day

Antwerp omnibus in the present day

Horse-drawn omnibuses ran along a fixed route in a city.  They were meant to seat fifteen passengers, although they were often over-crowded. This photo is of a horse-drawn omnibus used today as  a tourist attraction in Antwerp, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what the experience must have been like.

Eventually they put steel rails in the streets  and omnibuses were replaced by horsecars. Not to be confused with cable cars (which were sometimes steam driven).

How did a passenger on an omnibus let the driver know that his or her stop was coming up? Any guesses?