One of the most famous bridges in the world, and the most photographed, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco has been the backdrop for many a tourist photo. It also has appeared in numerous movies over the years, including “The Maltese Falcon,” “Vertigo,” “The Love Bug,” “Superman: The Movie” and several Star Trek films. The television shows featuring the Golden Gate Bridge, in their intros, credits or in the shows themselves, range from “Nash Bridges” and “Falcon Crest” to “Full House” and “Charmed.”
The famous bridge, which connects San Francisco to Marin County, spans nearly two miles and is approximately 90 feet wide. A phenomenal, hazardous construction project, the Golden Gate offered steady employment in the midst of the Great Depression, drawing farmers, clerks, welders and others desperate for employment. Amazingly, over the four years of fulfilling the design—including building an 1,100-foot trestle and blasting away rock in strong currents at a depth of 90 feet—only 11 workers (out of hundreds) perished, 10 of them when a scaffolding collapsed.
Interestingly, the great grandfather of our company’s founder was a member of that construction crew, a matter of pride throughout his life. Sometimes when we look at an impressive man-made object, we don’t stop to think of the incredible ingenuity and effort that goes into creating it. Civil engineer Joseph Strauss and his team member Leon S. Moisseiff were the designers of the Golden Gate Bridge, which is painted, and frequently touched up, in International Orange. Cleverly, the bridge is designed so that it can move laterally more than two feet to withstand strong winds and earthquakes.
People today are just as awed by the Golden Gate Bridge as their ancestors were in 1937, when it opened to the public. In 1994, the American Society of Civil Engineers designated the Golden Gate Bridge as one of the United States’ Seven Engineering Wonders. Now when you stand in front the renowned bridge, you’ll have something to think about besides your great photo op.