S Is For Bridge

May 1932 by Jacob Gayer for Nat Geo

Ever seen the likes of this before? Not me. Not around these parts. Maybe it’s a Northern thing. This S bridge in Hendrysburg, Ohio was built with “manholes,” or safety niches where a pedestrian could get out of the way of a runaway team of horses. While many S bridges were generally used for crossing curving streams with uneven banks, this one served a more unique purpose. Motorcars eventually made the bridges obsolete.

Back On The Raising Gang


April 16, 1951. Life magazine showcases 26-year-old Bill Hipkiss, a bridgeman on a “raising gang,” fitting steel into place. A steelworker for 9 years, this was his first bridge, for which he was paid $2.80/hr with double overtime. Add this to the list of jobs I would never consider doing.


 That’s a bunch of words that make my head hurt. 
LifeApril1951-008This is unsafe? Building a bridge is unsafe. I hope they had workers’ compensation.

plateWhat about you? Does this kind of risky work appeal to your nature? Are you an adrenaline junkie? Would you make sure to apply sunscreen to your face before going out each morning?