DUMBO — On Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at the powerHouse Arena, 37 Main St., Kriss Roebling of the famous Roebling family will join historian Clifford W. Zink, author of The Roebling Legacy.
In his new book, Princeton-based historian Zink chronicles the classic American saga of the Roeblings, builders of the Brooklyn Bridge and the great cables on the Williamsburgh, Manhattan, George Washington and Golden Gate bridges.
The Roeblings also developed wire rope for new technologies that helped shape modern life, like elevators, telephones and electrification, cable cars and airplanes. They created one of America’s first sports cars (the 1911 Mercer Raceabout) and built one of America’s first model towns, Roebling, N.J.
At the 125th anniversary of the Brooklyn Bridge in 2008, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called it “the universal icon of New York and an enduring symbol of America’s greatness.” John A. Roebling proposed the bridge in 1857, but tragically died in 1869 at the start of construction.
His son, Washington A. Roebling succeeded him as chief engineer. He later recalled, “Here I was at the age of 32, suddenly put in charge of the most stupendous engineering work of the age. At first I thought I would succumb, but I had a strong tower to lean upon, my wife.”
Emily Warren Roebling famously helped her husband keep his job after he became disabled by construction injuries and helped him complete the bridge in 1883.
Zink, an award-winning author of books on architectural, industrial, and landscape history, will read brief excerpts of compelling family letters and memoirs from the book.
The 296-page, full color, hardcover book includes 470 illustrations, a list of Roebling bridges and cables and a Roebling Family Tree through four generations.