Emily Warren Roebling: The Brooklyn Bridge

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One of the oldest and most famous suspension bridges in the United States is the Brooklyn Bridge, which spans over New York’s East River and connects Brooklyn to Manhattan. The driving force behind the construction of this iconic landmark is a trailblazing female engineer named Emily Warren Roebling. Emily was born on September 23, 1843 in Cold Spring, New York to an upper middle-class family. She was the second youngest of twelve children, but was especially close to her older brother, Kemble Warren, who enrolled her in a convent school in Washington, D.C. to further her education when she was 15 years old. Emily met her husband, Washington Roebling, at an army camp in 1864 and they were married a year later. Her father-in-law, John A. Roebling, was the principal designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, but he passed away from tetanus before the project could be finished, leaving his son Washington to take over the role of chief engineer. During construction of the bridge, Washington became ill with decompression sickness and was unable to physically continue…show more content…
At a time when women were expected to simply manage the affairs of the household, she proved that regardless of gender, one can accomplish anything with hard work and determination. She served as a shining example of the capabilities and brilliance of women. I selected Emily Roebling for these reasons, and because she made significant contributions in a male dominated field. I was inspired by the amount of work and effort she put into the Brooklyn Bridge project. Emily went to great lengths to acquire as much knowledge as she could about bridge design and construction, and without her efforts and active involvement, the completion of the bridge may not have been possible. She will stand throughout time as a role model for young women who want to pursue the engineering

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