The Engineering Marvel that is the Forth Rail Bridge (Scotland)

On March 4, 1890, the Forth Rail Bridge was opened by the Prince of Wales and the massive cantilevered structure was one of the marvels of its day – and public holidays were proclaimed in the local towns. A newspaper account of the opening day in 1890 can be read in the Edinburgh Evening News.

Begun in 1883, the Forth Rail Bridge was the world’s first major steel bridge and has become an icon of Scotland and of Victorian engineering.

Unfortunately, the bridge came at a heavy price…57 workmen were killed during the construction, however, after extensive research by local historians, the figure has been revised upwards to 98 (source Wiki). An additional 518 workers were injured in its construction.

View a watercolor image of the proposed bridge here. The National Library of Scotland’s Forth Rail Bridge set is here. Photographs of the bridge today are posted on Wikipedia.

The image above is from the 40 photographs of the Forth Rail Bridge by Philip Phillips at the National Library of Scotland.

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