Family Photos: Sydney Harbour Bridge Construction

Modified photo of Sydney Harbour Bridge - familyfractals.wordpress.com

Aunt Camie and Uncle Bob’s photos are the gifts that keep on giving. I found a series of photographs showing the Sydney Harbour Bridge in various stages of completion. These are not unique photos by any means. There are plenty of photos around of the Coathanger being built. After all, it took about 10 years from the sod-breaking ceremony in 1923 to De Groot’s famous ribbon-slashing upstage of the opening ceremony in 1932. And the Bridge was being built right in the middle of the city – a bit hard to miss, really.

But it gave me a chance to read up on the history of the Bridge which I really enjoyed. Don’t worry. I’m not going to drag you through all the gory details…unless you really want a blow by blow account of how the Bridge came to be…no? Ah well. Anyway, I thought you might like to see the photos and I’ll point out a couple of interesting details.

I performed numerous and rigorous triangulation calculations, poured over maps by candlelight long into the night, wiped the sweat from my furrowed brow, and concluded that the photos were taken from McMahon’s Point looking back towards the city and Circular Quay.

Sydney Harbour Bridge - North End - Milsons Point. You can see one of the Sydney ferries in the foreground leaving the McMahons Point Terminal. The white ship in the background on the right is probably one of the new warships - either H.M.A.S. Australia or H.M.A.S. Canberra

Sydney Harbour Bridge – North End – Milsons Point. You can see one of the Sydney ferries in the foreground leaving the McMahon’s Point Terminal. The white ship in the background on the right is possibly one of the new warships – either H.M.A.S. Australia or H.M.A.S. Canberra. These two ships were the only County-class, Kent sub-class heavy cruisers built for the Royal Australian Navy. H.M.A.S. Australia was the first to arrive in Sydney in October 1928 with H.M.A.S. Canberra arriving in February 1929.1,2,3,4 Photo taken from McMahon’s Point. (From author’s personal collection)

Sydney Harbour Bridge – North End – Milson’s Point. Showing a more complete picture of the Milson’s Point workshops where they manufactured the steelwork for the bridge. After the bridge was built, the workshops were demolished with Luna Park being built on the site in 1935. You can also see that the creeper crane on this north end is now in place. The creeper crane on the south end was the first to be put in place back in September 1928. The creeper cranes were attached to a travelling carriage so they could build the bridge bit by bit before them to eventually meet in the middle.  Date: About June 1929.   Photo taken from McMahon’s Point.5,6 (From author’s personal collection)

Sydney Harbour Bridge - South End - Dawes Point. The creeper crane is in place and the first few sections have been built. Probably post September 1929. Once again, the photo has been taken from McMahons Point.

Sydney Harbour Bridge – South End – Dawes Point. The creeper crane is in place and the first few sections have been built. Date: About September 1929. Photo taken from McMahon’s Point. (From author’s personal collection)

Sydney Harbour Bridge. The bridge frame has now been joined in the middle. The first stages of the deck are being built below. The deck will carry the railway line and the road for the cars. Date: probably between October and December 1930. Photo taken from McMahons Point.

Sydney Harbour Bridge. The bridge frame has now been joined in the middle. Both creeper cranes are in view. The first stages of the deck are being built below. The deck will eventually carry the railway line and the road for the cars. Date: Approx between October and December 1930. Photo taken from McMahon’s Point. (From author’s personal collection)

Do you have any favourite stories or memories of the Sydney Harbour Bridge? Perhaps you recognise one of the ships in the photos? Or maybe I’ve made a mistake – any corrections are definitely welcome!

NOTE: Title picture is the same as the last photo – with a bit of photo editing tricky fun by me.

Sources:

1 DUE TO-DAY. (1928, October 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 10. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16503890
2 ARRIVAL OF H.M.A.S. AUSTRALIA, THE NEW FLAGSHIP OF THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY. (1928, October 24). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 18. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28051689
3 ARRIVAL OF H.M.A.S. CANBERRA AT SYDNEY. (1929, February 18). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 14. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16532031
4 County-class cruiser. (2017, June 22). Retrieved July 14, 2017 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County-class_cruiser
SYDNEY CIVIC COMMISSION (1929, January 23). Construction and Local Government Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1913 – 1930), p. 15. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article109639353
CREEPER CRANE MOUNTED ON NORTH SIDE OF BRIDGE (1929, June 19). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 – 1931), p. 1. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article117729866

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This entry was posted in Architecture, Genealogy, Memories, Newspaper, Photograph, Story and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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