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June 12: The man who engineered the Brooklyn Bridge was born on this date in 1806

Justin Hyde

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John Augustus Roebling was born in Germany on June 12, 1806, and as a young engineer emigrated to America chasing work. He would eventually become known as one of the great bridge builders of his era; his masterpiece, the Brooklyn Bridge, was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1883. Sadly, Roebling never saw it; he died of a tetanus infection in 1869 from an injury sustained while surveying the bridge's site. Today, some 150,000 vehicles cross the Brooklyn Bridge ever day. Here's the story of how his family finished his greatest work — barely:

Photo: See-Ming Lee via Flickr

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