Spiral Bridge, Hastings, Minnesota

This is a neat looking bridge spoon. The spiral shape of this bridge is absolutely unbelievable. I have been told that the bridge was made in this strange fashion because the soil at the beginning and end points was not adequate to support the structure.

Until this time, bridges were made of wood, stone, cast iron or earth. These technologies worked for small chasms, but they were incapable of being used in larger situations or over bays or large rivers.                                                           

Of great significance, new technology in steel production combined with innovative concepts would greatly expand the role of the bridge in linking communities separated by large water chasms or rivers or other waterways.

The Eads bridge in St. Louis was a pioneering effort in the application of this new technology and it is celebrated on many spoons.  The new concepts tried in this bridge proved that they would work.

St. Louis finial and Eads Bridge bowl

Perhaps of even greater significance is the Brooklyn Bridge which used daring new suspension technology combined with innovative artistic and structural designs. Besides being a monument to man's ability to span large ocean waterways in an urban setting it created the opportunity to link New York City to Brooklyn creating one of the world's greatest metropolises. The significance of this bridge and the new technology was far reaching and has affected virtually every major city in the world. ("The air-bridged harbor that twin-cities frame” in the Lazarus poem engraved on the Statue of Liberty is a reference to this bridge.).

   Brooklyn Bridge

Spoons showing the Brooklyn Bridge are almost exclusively of a souvenir nature. The bridge was a major tourist draw, and spoon makers capitalized on its importance. One correspondent has almost 250 spoon varieties of the Brooklyn Bridge in his collection, which is a very impressive achievement.


Skyline Bridge Spoons

A skyline bridge spoon representing the Cincinnati, Ohio bridge
note: this spoon handle is also used with Brooklyn Bridge scenes

A nice skyline spoon representing the Victoria Bridge, Montreal, Canada. The bowl also has a nice Racine Rapids picture.

At its opening the Victoria bridge was called an "engineering marvel" and the "8th wonder of the world". This unique one mile long iron tube bridge spanned the St. Lawrence River.

At first the only way across the Colorado River was by a rope ferry. The Red Rock cantilever bridge (near Needles, California) was finished in 1890 and carried a transcontinental railroad over the river. Only a few years later, there was a need for a way to get the many automobiles over the river. One solution entailed having cars go over the tracks while trains were not using the bridge. The dangers of this solution are obvious and another bridge was built. This spoon was manufactured and sold by the Fred Harvey company which specialized in traveler's needs. The back of this spoon also has a most unusual picture of an indian selling "beadwork". The picture is with the indian spoons.

monroe st bridge spokanemonroe st bridge

Monroe St.bridge spanning the Spokane  River (Spokane, Washington), with a beautiful view of the Spokane falls.

When it was first opened on Nov. 3, 1911 it was the largest concrete span bridge in the world.

The handle features a beautifully costumed  Squeliz indian (Spokanes) who lived in the area

In addition to these major engineering feats, we frequently find smaller bridges on spoons because the local residents realized their great importance to the local community. Almost all of the local bridge spoons were commemorative of their grand opening.

Selma, Alabama

Toledo's new Million dollar bridge

Main Street Bridge

New East River Bridge, New York

Duluth, Minnesota (click for more)

Cairo, Illinois

old covered bridge, Cambridge,  Ohio

suspension bridge, Cincinnati, Ohio

Coon River dam and bridge, Iowa

Iowa Falls

Dual bridges, Clinton, Iowa

Enamel bowl spoon of Pont Alexandre bridge. This bridge was built for the Paris Exposition of 1901. Note the nice art nuevo style handle and flowers

The famous Golden Gate Bridge  in San Francisco is not engraved in any spoon bowls which I have seen, because it was built after the time that this activity was being done. It is represented on very few spoons because the spoon craze was over before it was built. There are a number of spoons engraved with a scenic pictorial of the Golden Gate Harbor, but of course they do not show the bridge which did not exist yet.

This sterling demi spoon seems to commemorate the Grand Opening of the Oakland-Bay Bridge linking the city of San Francisco to Oakland

The front features a scenic view of the bridge

The back tells us that it is the world's largest bridge:

cost $76,000,000
8.25 miles long
completed in 1938

This spoon contains a small round stone speckled with black on white

The reverse says "authentic piece of the London Bridge"

This silver plated spoon was probably a souvenir of when the London Bridge was moved to Lake Havasu, California.

Repousse bowl of the Ponte Vecchio (old bridge) in Florence, Italy
This very charming bridge has been in use for many centuries and is now lined with tourist souvenir shops

In ancient Roman times the building of bridges was considered to be one of the supreme activities and one of the highest honors that could be bestowed on a man was the title of "bridge builder". The latin term for bridge--pont-- has come into our language in a variety of forms. The most intriguing is Pontiff, in reference to the Pope.

Other Bridges are available, Are you looking for a specific one?

View the Duluth Bridge Exhibit

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