100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

Painting the Brooklyn Bridge


Eugene de Salignac was born in Boston in 1861 into an eccentric family of exiled French nobility. In 1903, at the age of 42, his brother-in-law found him a job as an assistant to the photographer for the Department of Bridges, Joseph Palmer. After 3 years of apprenticeship, Palmer suddenly died, and in October 1906, de Salignac assumed his duties.

As the sole photographer for the department, he documented the creation of the city’s modern infrastructure—including bridges, major municipal buildings, roads and subways. Most notably, he documented the construction of the Manhattan Bridge and the Queensboro Bridge, and the Manhattan Municipal Building.

On January 3, 1915 de Salignac took this photo of bridge workers painting the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, New York.

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