- from Bridges
Between 1810 and 1850, the population of Brooklyn, New York, increased from about 3,000 to over 100,000.
Brooklyn residents who traveled to the island of Manhattan had to take a ferry across the East River. However, the river tended to freeze during the winter, and ferries were overcrowded during rush hour. Clearly, a new means of crossing was needed. In 1867, Henry Cruse Murphy, a former mayor of Brooklyn, proposed building a bridge. Two years later, construction began on what was to become one of the most extraordinary engineering feats in history.