Westfield Memorial Library Offers Program on Woman who Built the Brooklyn Bridge

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Emily Roebling Credits: The Westfield Memorial Library
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WESTFIELD, NJ — On Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m., The Westfield Memorial will present “Building a Legend: Emily Roebling and the Brooklyn Bridge.”

According to the library, on December 12, 1881, high above the East River, a line of men in business suits cautiously walked along a narrow path of wooden boards laid down across the open steel frame of a huge unfinished bridge. It was the first official crossing of what would become the Brooklyn Bridge, and it was led by the woman who supervised its building—Emily Roebling.

“In 1881, women could not vote in most state and federal elections. Their minds and bodies were considered weak and fragile,” according to the library in a press release. “Very few colleges would accept female students and, though many lower-class women had to work to support their families, it was unthinkable for respectable middle- and upper-class women to do so. They were expected to stay at home and be wives and mothers. They most certainly would not be supervising the greatest construction project of the age.”

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Carol Simon Levin, a Youth Services Librarian with a background in history of technology and women’s history, will tell Roebling's story at a program ideal for adults, teens and older children.

The event is free and open to Westfield Memorial Library and MURAL cardholders. To register for this program, click here or call 908-789-4090 ext. 0. The library is located at 550 East Broad Street.

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