Monday, February 4, 2013


Just last year the Golden Gate Bridge celebrated its 75th birthday.

  It was quite a celebration!

 Of course, there was a time when there was no bridge across the Strait to Marin County. 
Ferry boats were used to get from one side to the other.  That's Fort Point in the foreground.

  Then in the early 30s, construction was started on a bridge that some said could not be built. 
In this photo, the pylon is on the San Francisco side.

 Again, we are on the San Francisco side. I can tell because Fort Point is just to the right
of that pylon.  The north tower is going up on the Marin side, and the trestle on this side is
starting to reach out to where the south tower will be.

A year later.   Ah, it’s beginning to look like something.

These are not the cables to hold the roadway; just the catwalks to start that construction.
This photo must have been taken in the late afternoon.  Look at the shadow on the water.

Oh, wow! Looks like all we need is a roadway. This was taken a year before the opening.

 Nearly done! The San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge opened the year before the Golden Gate Bridge did.

 Opening day, May 27, 1937! I find the clarity of this photo to be remarkably good. No, you won’t find me in this picture. As I noted in a recent blog, my dad took us the following evening for a ride over the bridge. That was about a week before my seventh birthday.  If you look carefully, you can see that opening day was a foggy one.

 Aha,  the military flyover! That had to be opening day because there are only pedestrians on the bridge.

Humor --


“We don't need you. You haven't got through college yet.”
~~ Hewlett-Packard's rejection of Steve Jobs, who went on to found Apple Computers.

“Airplanes are interesting toys, but they have no military value.”
~~ Marshal Ferdinand Foch in 1911.

“With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big
slice of the U. S. market.”
~~ Business Week, 1958.

“Whatever happens, the U. S. Navy is not going to be caught napping.”
~~ Frank Knox, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, on December 4, 1941.


  1. Wow. Not only the history, but it's stopping me a moment--if the Bay Bridge opened a year before the GG, and the GG is 75...

    It's got to be twenty years easily since an old man I knew passed away. He'd been one of the engineers for the Bay Bridge, and during the Loma Prieta quake, that one top section that fell down to the lower part but nothing fell down to the water--that's the way it was supposed to work, he affirmed to us. And then quickly added that *his* part of the bridge didn't fall!

    It amazes me sometimes how lives overlap into long stretches of time.

  2. Fascinating photos! I found my pre-1906 San Francisco postcard book, and Oscar tells me we have a flatbed scanner so after it gets unpacked and set up, I can share the images!

  3. An engineering marvel! I marvel at the Clifton Suspension Bridge so I know I'd stand in awe if I ever saw the Golden gate!

  4. Great to see those photos! Can't imagine what it was like BEFORE the bridges were built.