By Peter Lalor
The definitive tale of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, one of many world's so much awesome engineering feats - a constitution that has turn into an Australian nationwide icon.
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Extra resources for Bridge: The epic story of an Australian icon - the Sydney Harbour Bridge
For a period around 1820 the population of Parramatta outnumbered Sydney’s. The division between the north shore and the city was an irritant for the early settlers and remained one until 1932. The north shore was less than 500 metres from the edge of Dawes Point as the crow flies, but it might as well have been 50 km. Indeed, for some time it was, for traffic, 50 km away. It was so close you could swim, but to travel by land in the earliest days meant rattling along the long road to Parramatta before crossing the bridge there and cutting back.
The frantic and frenzied gold rushes of the preceding decades now subsidised the infrastructure and education of the young nation. State-funded schools flourished and an egalitarian system of scholarships allowed even the lower classes to attend the finest university. The ever-expanding railway system employed enormous teams of labourers, including the young scholar’s father, to build new lines and open up the vast inland farming lands. While they laboured under the hot sun, engineers huddled over slide rules and rough maps as they drafted a series of suture lines that eventually joined almost every agricultural backblock with a coastal port.
J. Bradfield “the bridge builder”. Who are the great? ’ 44 ~ THE BRIDGE The_Bridge_pmp 6/10/06 2:08 PM Page 45 Engineers or their works are rarely fêted by the poets, but Bradfield was a rare engineer. In the 1930s he was praised across the country and beyond. He was, in the language of the time, an Australian who proved this outpost of Empire possessed men of talent the equal of anywhere in the world. He was a steady and committed man who walked, spoke and triumphed slowly. He had the sort of patience you would expect from somebody whose second name was Job.
Bridge: The epic story of an Australian icon - the Sydney Harbour Bridge by Peter Lalor