1890: The Royal Introduction of a Scottish Bridge

March 4, 1890

Scotland’s Forth Bridge, spanning across the estuary Firth of Forth, made its official debut. This cantilever railway bridge was built to carry two tracks of the North British Railway through a stretch of territory between the city of Edinburgh and the council area of Firth.

The Forth Bridge — also known as the Forth Rail Bridge — was opened by the Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII), who drove home the last rivet. The key used for these dedication festivities was made by Edinburgh silversmith John Finlayson Bain. (The above photo of the Forth Bridge was taken at around the time of its opening.)

Measuring a total of 8,094 feet (2,467 meters) in length, the Forth Bridge was the world’s longest single cantilever bridge until the completion of the Quebec Bridge in Canada in 1917. The Forth Bridge still holds the record for the second-longest single cantilever span. The length of that span is 1,709 feet (521 meters).  In yet another claim to fame, the Forth Bridge had a featured role in the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock thriller movie The 39 Steps and its 1959 remake.

Photo Credit: Public Domain

For more information on the Forth Bridge (also called the Forth Rail Bridge), please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forth_Bridge

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