Today marks the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Construction began on 28 July, 1923. The contractors set up two workshops at Milson’s Point on the North Shore where the steel was fabricated into girders. The granite for the pylons was quarried near Moruya, where about 250 workers and their families lived in a temporary settlement. The two arches met at the centre of the span in August 1930 and Premier Jack Lang opened the Harbour Bridge on the 19 March, 1932. Francis Edward de Groot, a member of the New Guard disrupted the opening ceremony when, disguised as a military horseman, he slashed the ceremonial ribbon before the Premier was able to officially open the bridge. The opening celebrations were surprisingly lavish considering that New South Wales, like the rest of Australia, was in the depths of the Great Depression. It has been estimated that between 300,000 and 1,000,000 people participated in the festivities. The celebrations included decorated floats, marching groups and bands, a gun-salute, a procession of passenger ships under the Bridge and a Venetian Carnival. After the pageant members of the public were allowed to walk across the deck — an opportunity that was not offered to the public again until the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Bridge in 1982
Bridge Video Montage
You may remember the video montage we created last year showing the construction of the bridge. The photos are from our collection – series NRS 12685 – and the whole set, 1923-1933, is available on Photo Investigator.
View the montage
Help us commemorate the 80th Birthday
This year we are trying something a little different. We have created an I <3 Sydney Harbour Bridge tribute board at Pinterest.com. The aim is to get together a collage of images both from our own collection and other peoples (where copyright has been made available).
This is where you come in!
We’d love for you to link us to your favourite Sydney Harbour Bridge related images either from our collection on Flickr and/or images from other people (where they have been made available under a creative commons licence). All you need to do is provide a link to the image in the comments below. e.g. http://www.flickr.com/photos/state-records-nsw/5791715869/.
If you wish you can also leave a birthday message or a bridge related anecdote e.g. Octogenerarians rule! We will then pin the image and the message to the Birthday Board in your name. Lets party!