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Golden Gate Bridge Suspender Rope

Golden Gate Bridge Suspender Rope

Above: Front of Specimen Card (Classic San Francisco Post Card c. 1930-1945, Boston Public Library)

On May 27th, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge opened to the public, fulfilling a decades-long dream of "Bridging the Gate.”  Spanning 1,280 meters (4,200 ft), the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.

Above: Image of the bridge from "The Golden Gate bridge: report of the chief engineer to the Board of directors of the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District, California, September, 1937."

The main support cables of the Golden Gate Bridge consist of 27,572 galvanized wires, bundled by custom cable bands. Across the entire structure, the cable wires have an average tensile strength of 235,600lbs per square inch. From time to time, the main cables are tightened but unlike the suspender ropes, they can never be replaced.

Above: A suspender rope bundle.

This specimen is a fragment of one of the original 250 pairs of vertical suspender ropes attached to the main cables. The ropes were replaced in the mid-70s, and the State of California sold some of the material to help pay for the work. The process took four years and was itself considered a major engineering feat.

There are two sizes available. Both sizes ship inside our classic, glass-topped riker cases. The cases measure 4 1/2" x 3 1/2". A small information card is also included. The smaller specimen is also enclosed in an acrylic specimen jar. 

About the Golden Gate Bridge

"At last, the mighty task is done." ~ Joseph B. Strauss

Above: The Golden Gate today 

On May 27th, 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge opened to the public, fulfilling the decades-long dream of "Bridging the Gate".  Today, the bridge remains a marvel of engineering, representing the will to achieve what others said could not be done.

Developing the political support necessary to build such a monumental structure, fell to Chief Engineer Joseph B. Strauss.  For nearly a decade, Strauss worked to promote the bridge.  He wrangled financing, fought lawsuits, and oversaw the execution of the project.

When it came time to build, Strauss put just as much hard work into the construction, delivering just five months beyond the promise date and $1.3M under budget.  Less than a year after the Golden Gate Bridge opened to the public, Strauss passed away, suffering a massive stroke while recuperating in Arizona.

While Strauss is rightly credited with giving so much to the Golden Gate Bridge, this structure is also the work of many thousands of men, including designer Charles Alton Ellis.  Ellis and Strauss had a difficult falling out during the early stages of construction, which led to Ellis' expulsion from the project.  The State of California recognized his contribution in 2007.

Above: Back of the Specimen Card

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