When opened in 1909, the 1,470 foot long main span of the Manhattan Bridge was the third longest suspension bridge span in the world, after the nearby Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges. The Manhattan Bridge has two 725 foot long suspended side spans for an overall length of 2,920 feet. The bridge deck is supported by 4 main cables of 20.75 inch diameter, each composed of more than 35,000 individual wires. The bridge deck is stiffened by four parallel trusses of 24 foot depth, hinged at the towers.
The Polymer Research Institute was established in 1946 by Herman F. Mark, a pioneer in the study of giant molecules. The Institute brought together a number of polymer researchers to create the first academic facility in the United States devoted to the study and teaching of polymer science. Scientists associated with it later went on to establish polymer programs at other universities and institutions, contributing significantly to the development and growth of what has become a vital branch of chemistry, engineering, and materials science.
On May 24, 1883, with schools and businesses closed for the occasion, New York celebrated the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge. Also known as the Great East River Bridge, it was built over 14 years in the face of enormous difficulties. Deaths, fire in the Brooklyn caisson, and a scandal over inferior materials all added to the turmoil. The bridge is one of the most well-recognized symbols of American engineering, and remains the unofficial Eighth Wonder of the World.