On March 19, 2022, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, one of Australia's most famous, photographed, and cherished structures, will celebrate its 90th birthday, marking the day it first opened to automobiles (and horses) in 1932.
BridgeClimb is urging Australians throughout the country to submit their untold stories and antiques of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for present and future generations to appreciate ahead of the milestone birthday festivities in March.
All comments are welcome, whether you or someone you know worked on the Bridge's construction or maintenance, own a unique item of Bridge memorabilia, or have a memorable recollection involving the Bridge.
Deb Zimmer, CEO of BridgeClimb, is confident that some wonderful stories and artefacts will be uncovered in the coming months.
“Everyone has a story that involves the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Whether you've scaled to the summit with us, watched it put on a spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks display, or simply taken a train ride over it, the Bridge has played a part in many people's lives and we’re so excited to see what we uncover throughout this process,” she said.
One of the lesser-known anecdotes about the Sydney Harbour Bridge features elephants and a horse, and it is most likely the Bridge's first public relations gimmick.
April 1932, Wirth’s Circus took seven elephants and a Shetland pony across the newly opened Bridge to promote their show. Records show the toll collectors charged two pence per elephant.
Photo Supplied: Credit John Camemolla (Paul Hogan working on Sydney Harbour Bridge)
Paul Hogan's pre-stardom career is a story that most Australians are familiar with. Paul took a job as a rigger on the Sydney Harbour Bridge when he was 23 years old, which required nerves of steel in the 1970s. Paul worked on the Bridge for over a decade and was found and propelled into the international spotlight during that time.
The coat hanger, a symphony of steel, the arch that cuts the sky, and even the humpback whale have all been used to describe the Sydney Harbour Bridge over the years. But, of all the titles given to Sydney's iconic landmark over the past 90 years, the iron lung best captures its significance for those who built it, bringing life back to Sydney during a difficult period for many and providing jobs for thousands of people across NSW.
The Bridge's steelwork alone weighs 52,800 tonnes and is held together by 6 million rivets, each one pounded in by hand, and is regarded as an engineering marvel because to the genius of chief proponent John Job Crew Bradfield. The structure is 503 metres long and reaches 134 metres above sea level, almost as high as Egypt's Great Pyramid.
With 90 years of history behind it, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is brimming with stories to tell. All story and artefact submissions will be reviewed for possible inclusion, in time, within the Pylon Lookout & Museum – the home of the history of the Bridge. To submit yours, visit: https://bit.ly/3I58a3H