Transportation History

August 21, 1960

David B. Steinman, a structural engineer who designed a number of notable bridges across the globe, died in New York City. It is not completely clear where he had been born. Several sources indicate that Steinman was born in the town of Chomsk in the present-day Republic of Belarus in 1886 and immigrated to the United States with his family four years later; others sources, however, claim that he was actually born in New York City in 1887.

What is known is that Steinman spent most if not all of his formative years in New York City. He and his family lived in a tenement near the Brooklyn Bridge, which opened in 1883. As a boy, Steinman spent a lot of time playing in the shadow of that bridge. He found the structure to be awe-inspiring, and even called it “a truly miracle bridge.”

The influence of…

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