Souvenir of the Opening of the East River Bridge, May 24, 1883

By the late 19th century, the United States had established itself as a world leader in the area of civil engineering. Perhaps no project better symbolized America's technical prowess than the awe-inspiring Brooklyn Bridge, which connected the nation's largest and third largest cities—New York and Brooklyn, respectively—in 1883 across the turbulent tidal strait known as the East River. The main 1,600-foot (490-meter) span of this towering suspension bridge exceeded the world's longest span by fifty percent.
The bridge's opening prompted a huge celebration. This white metal medallion was struck to commemorate that occasion. Its obverse proudly proclaims the motto, "Two Cities As One," while the legend on its reverse reads: "Souvenir of the Opening of the East River Bridge, May 24th 1883."
Currently not on view
Object Name
Date made
associated date
Physical Description
metal, white (overall material)
overall: 1/8 in x 1 3/8 in; x .3175 cm x 3.4925 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Coins, Currency and Medals
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Opening of the Brooklyn Bridge
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.