“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Downtown in Camden in Camden County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Benjamin Franklin Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), March 7, 2020
1. Benjamin Franklin Bridge Marker
Although efforts to build a bridge connecting Camden with Philadelphia began in 1818, it wasn't until 1926 that a bridge was completed. Ferries provided transportation across the Delaware River as early as the 1680's and contributed to the growth and development of Camden. In the early twentieth century, the increasing number of ferries on the river and the rise of automobile use created the need for a better crossing.

Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey set up separate commissions to investigate the construction of a new bridge, combining in 1919 to form the Delaware River Bridge Commission. Renowned bridge engineer Ralph Modjeski was selected as chief engineer and legendary architect Paul Philippe Cret was appointed as architect. The result was the world's longest suspension bridge with a main span of 1,750 feet.

Work on the bridge began on January 6, 1922. The foundations for the main towers were constructed using caissons that were sunk to the bottom of the river. Men working inside chambers of the caissons removed material by hand to reach bedrock. The main towers were started in 1923 and completed in 1924. Next,
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the main cables were constructed using a process known as cable-spinning. 25,000 miles of steel wire were pulled in a loop from end to end, bound tightly together, grouped into strands and compacted together to form the finished cables. The main cables were completed in 1925, and the bridge opened on July 1, 1926, three days ahead of its scheduled opening on the nation's sesquicentennial. The bridge was originally known as the Delaware River Bridge when it was opened and later renamed to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in 1956.

Opening Ceremonies
On July 1, 1925, more than 25,000 people attend the official opening ceremony of the Delaware River Bridge, with Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot and New Jersey Governor A. Harry Moore presiding. After the ceremony, an estimated 100,000 people walk across the bridge before it opens to vehicular traffic. On July 5, 1926, President Calvin Coolidge (pictured above) arrives to dedicate the bridge.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsRoads & VehiclesWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #30 Calvin Coolidge series list. A significant historical date for this entry is January 6, 1922.
Location. 39° 56.95′ N, 75° 7.199′ W. Marker is in Camden,
Benjamin Franklin Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), March 7, 2020
2. Benjamin Franklin Bridge Marker
New Jersey, in Camden County. It is in Downtown. Marker is at the intersection of North 5th Street and Pearl Street, on the right when traveling north on North 5th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8277 N 5th St, Camden NJ 08102, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Memory (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jeremy Kane (about 600 feet away); W. Layton Hall (about 600 feet away); One John F. Gerry Plaza (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cooper Street Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cooper Street: the Gateway of Southern New Jersey (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Cooper Family (approx. ¼ mile away); The New Jersey Safe Deposit and Trust Company Building (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Camden.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 14, 2023. It was originally submitted on March 9, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 208 times since then and 43 times this year. Last updated on January 20, 2022, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 9, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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May. 31, 2023