Emily Warren Roebling

Brooklyn Bridge – Currier & Ives 1877
Portrait of Emily Warren Roebling

Emily Warren Roebling (1843–1903). – Despite a lack of formal engineering training, Emily Roebling’s name will be forever associated with the creation of the Brooklyn Bridge, a key engineering feat of the 1800s. After her father-in-law and original bridge designer John Roebling passed away suddenly following a freak accident, her husband took over as chief engineer. To help him, Emily Roebling studied civil engineering topics. When Washington Roebling then became ill and bedridden, she jumped into the project.

For 14 years, Emily acted as chief engineer on the project while fighting to ensure that Washington Roebling did not lose credit for his work. In 1883, she was the first person to cross the finished Brooklyn Bridge in a carriage.