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48. The Roeblings
For the longest time we had trouble helping cabbies in Williamsburg make it back to Manhattan: for some reason, we could never remember whether it was Havemeyer or Roebling (we’re pretty dumb) that led to the bridge, until we came up with the following mnemonic: “Roebling builds a bridge.” It’s pretty simple, really: John August Roebling built the Brooklyn Bridge, as iconic a piece of architecture as the world has ever known. But he didn’t do it alone. After John A. died from tetanus he contracted on the site, his son Washington took over the project, but then he got sick, so, in an unprecedented move for the time, Washington’s wife Emily took over the project and saw it to completion. Seriously, that would’ve been some good reality TV.