‘The Great Bridge over the Rhine at Bonn, Germany’
Keystone View Company
The bridge shown in the stereograph was the Old Rhine Bridge completed in 1898. At the time of its construction it was the longest through-arch bridge in the world. The bridge was destroyed on 8 March 1945 by the Wehrmacht in a futile attempt to stop the American advance on Bonn. The bridge’s replacement was finished in 1949 and renamed Kennedy Bridge following the assassination of the U. S. President in 1963.
‘London Bridge in Coronation Dress’
Underwood & Underwood
This is an interesting stereograph for a couple of reasons. It shows the late Georgian London Bridge decked out in the summer of 1902 with bunting. The occasion was the coronation of Edward VII following the death of Queen Victoria the previous year. The stereoview also shows the bridge undergoing modification. The carriageway was widened by 13ft at the start of the 20th century by inserting corbels into the sides of the bridge. Evidence for the on-going work can be seen in the various bits of metal temporarily attached to the sides of the bridge.
‘East across the Oudehaven with its shipping, its handsome bridges and roomy quays, Rotterdam, Holland’
Underwood & Underwood
The bridge shown in the stereoview was the Willembrug, or William Rail Bridge. It was opened in 1877 to carry rail freight in and out of Rotterdam, one of the largest ports in the world. It was demolished in 1994 and replaced with a tunnel. Rotterdam’s Oude Haven, the Old Port, developed out of wetlands in the mid 14th century.
‘London Bridge, London, England’
Strohmeyer & Wyman
‘The Great London Bridge’
Universal Photo Art Company
Plans for replacing the 600-year-old bridge over the River Thames in London began at the end of the 18th century. A design competition was held and the winner was John Rennie. Work started on Rennie’s bridge in 1824, 30m upstream from the old medieval bridge which continued to be used until the new bridge was completed in 1831. The medieval bridge was only then demolished. Rennie’s bridge was 283m long, constructed from Dartmoor granite and cost a fortune. The carriageway was widened by 4m at the beginning of the 20th century by which time it was becoming obvious that the bridge was sinking into the riverbed. The bridge was sold in 1968 and the outer casing stones and parapet were shipped to Lake Havasu City in Arizona where they were assembled over a pre-constructed framework. A new bridge over the Thames opened in 1973. Made of concrete it has none of the beauty of its predecessor. The late 17th century Monument to the Great Fire of London can be seen on the horizon in the second stereoview. 62m tall it stands 62m from where the fire broke out at Pudding Lane in 1666. Now overshadowed by office blocks, it is one of the few structures shown that still survives.