STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books


The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York

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The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York

by Peter J. Tomasi
Illustrated by Sara DuVall
Abrams Comic Arts, 2018

If you’ve never watched the Ken Burns documentary, “Brooklyn Bridge,” you may not fully grasp the truly marvel qualities of the Brooklyn Bridge.  Besides being an engineering masterpiece, it is an architectural beauty, and the result of a heroic and lengthy commitment by the Roebling family and countless workers.  The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York is the true story in graphic format of the epic task of building the bridge.

The book begins in 1852, when the bridge was just a dream in the mind of John Augustus Roebling and his son Washington.  Washington Roebling’s father was a non-nonsense man, who doled out praise sparingly, but had great faith in his son. In 1862, after designing the bridge and receiving approval for its construction, John Augustus Roebling died and the young Washington Roebling became the chief engineer—a job that he eventually shared with his wife, Emily, after he contracted what was then an unknown disease.

Peter J. Tomasi tells this heroic story with little need for explanatory text, employing artistic license to recreate dialogue that rings true and gives a real feel for the political and personal dramas that unfolded throughout the fourteen years that passed during the bridge’s construction.  This is not an entirely personal story however, Tomasi includes ample description of the actual engineering of the bridge—a process with many failures and tragedies on the road to eventual success.

This is Sara DuVall’s first graphic novel and the style is simple and appealing.  The colors are bright and engaging, but background details are minimal, allowing the reader to focus on the expressions, the emotions, and the individual episodes that tie this epic story together.

The Bridge: How the Roeblings Connected Brooklyn to New York is well researched and accurately captures in graphic format this engineering marvel and the personal triumphs and sorrows associated with it.

See a slide show of images from The Bridge at Abrams Books.

Enjoy these actual photos from the New York Public Library’s digital collection.

“View of Manhattan waterfront and Brooklyn Bridge under construction; temporary footbridge ”
The New York Public Library Digital Collections.
1877

Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy,
The New York Public Library. “View of Manhattan waterfront and Brooklyn Bridge under construction; temporary footbridge ”
New York Public Library Digital Collections.
Accessed May 18, 2018.
http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/75c1c390-9f35-0132-e3a4-58d385a7b928

 

View of Manhattan from Brooklyn; men working on bridge cables; Fulton ferry boat “Hamilton”; sailboats, 1885

Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History,
Local History and Genealogy,
The New York Public Library. “View of Manhattan from Brooklyn; men
working on bridge cables; Fulton ferry boat “Hamilton”; sailboats”
New York Public Library Digital Collections.
Accessed May 18, 2018.

http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/7c0ce5f0-9dc2-0132-d343-58d385a7bbd0

“Pedestrians on the Promenade (copy of #23:7)”
The New York Public Library Digital Collections.
1895.

Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy,
The New York Public Library. “Pedestrians on the Promenade (copy of #23:7)”
New York Public Library Digital Collections.
Accessed May 18, 2018.
http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/bfc671e0-9f3a-0132-96cc-58d385a7bbd0

Note: My copy of The Bridge was provided by the publisher.

 

See all my reviews at Shelf-employed.

It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)


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STEM Friday: Feats of Engineering

Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects by Donna Latham
2012 Nomad Press

Sunny mornings like today always conjure up some of the spectacular vistas that stick in my mind from all sorts of places I’ve been in my life. Since I spent many years in the Bay Area, the views across the bay are some of the most frequent. And I’m not alone. Once you cross the Golden Gate Bridge, you never forget it. The view is nothing short of stunning in all directions. But there’s a lot more to that bridge than meets the eye.

I’d like to introduce you to our new Investigate Feats of Engineering titles by featuring the first in this category that we’ve done. Bridges and Tunnels: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects invites children 9 and up to explore the innovation and physical science behind these remarkable structures that our world depends on. They’ll learn about some of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles like vast canyons and mountain ranges that engineers and builders have tackled to design and construct such amazing passageways. Bridges and tunnels are lifelines that connect people and places. And some of the world’s most spectacular bridges have equally amazing stories to go along with them.

This book takes a challenging topic and makes it accessible to children. Hands-on activities encourage children to embrace the important engineering skill of trial and error. They’ll experiment with a triangular toothpick dome, liquefaction, and corrosion. They’ll make an egg bungee jump and a soda pop can engine. And with some great history thrown in, there are many lessons to be learned!

Enjoy this title and we look forward to Canals and Dams: Investigate Feats of Engineering with 25 Projects coming soon!

Today’s post is part of STEM Friday, a weekly round-up of children’s science, engineering, math and technology books.

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