The construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began on this date,...

The construction of the Golden Gate Bridge began on this date, January 5, in 1933. At the time of its opening on May 27, 1937, the bridge was both the longest (4,200 feet) and tallest (746 feet) suspension bridge in the world.

This ambitious project completed by a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation, the McClintic-Marshall Construction Company, following plans laid out by its architect Irving Morrow (1884-1952) and engineering design work by Charles Alton Ellis (1876-1949), Leon Solomon Moisseiff (1872-1943), and Joseph Strauss(1870-1938).

Eleven workers died during the construction of the bridge, but that number would have been higher but for Strauss's insistence on installing a movable safety netting system below the construction site. This precaution, which Strauss is credited with inventing, likely saved the lives of the nineteen workers who fell into it, and thus earning themselves membership into the exclusive 'Half Way to Hell Club'.

This photograph of the Golden Gate Bridge is undated, but once appeared in the American Iron and Steel Institute's 1977 edition of Steel: A Picture Story. It is part of Hagley Library's collection of American Iron and Steel Institute photographs and audiovisual materials (Accession 1986.268). To view more material from this collection online now, click here to visit its page in our Digital Archive.