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.