32¢ Golden Gate Bridge
Celebrate the Century – 1930s
Issue Date: September 10, 1998
City: Cleveland, OH
Printed By: Ashton–Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed, engraved
The Golden Gate Bridge is truly a miracle of engineering. Its 4,200-foot-long main section is suspended from two cables hung from towers 746 feet high. At the middle of the bridge, the road is 265 feet above the water.
The idea of building a bridge across the Golden Gate Strait was proposed as early as 1872. During the early 1900s, many engineers doubted it could be done, and others speculated it would cost as much as $100 million. In 1930, after much discussion, voters within the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District put their homes, farms, and businesses up as collateral to support a $35 million bond issue to finance building the bridge.
When construction of the bridge was started in 1933, the contractors encountered some unique difficulties. To lay the earthquake-proof foundation, they had to blast rock that was under water. They also had to contend with the weather. On one foggy day, a ship collided with the bridge, causing extensive damage.
Construction workers also had to take special safety precautions when building the bridge. A safety net under the bridge saved the lives of 19 men. But on February 17, 1937, ten men died when a scaffold fell through the net. On May 27, 1937, the bridge was opened.