Thursday, October 27, 2011

November 12th marks the 75th Anniversary of the Bay Bridge

Construction of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, 1936.
Photograph by Pigott.
California Historical Society, FN-31996
The Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge reminds me of the old Avis car rental ad – We’re Number 2. We Try Harder!

It’s not really a competition, or maybe it is…

When tourists think about bridges in San Francisco, they think of the Golden Gate.  But we who live and work here are more likely to spend time on the Bay Bridge. More than twice as many vehicles cross the Bay Bridge daily (over a quarter million, compared to the Golden Gate’s 120,000).

And, the Bay Bridge is nearly three times longer than the Golden Gate.

Not only that, but the Bay Bridge opened first—November 12, 1936. (The Other bridge opened in May 1937).

(If you want to watch construction crews assemble the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, take a trip to Treasure Island.)

Here are a couple of items from the CHS San Francisco Ephemera collection on the Bay Bridge
·         An invitation from the Governor to witness the opening ceremonies
·         The booklet for the official luncheon commemorating the opening
·         An envelope that was in the first mail bag flown across the bridge
·         And, from 1953, a commuter’s (“communtation”) book of pre-paid toll tickets: 50 tickets for $10 (do the math—that’s $0.20 per crossing).

- Eileen Keremitsis, Reference Staff
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