John Augustus Roebling – Determination & Persistence

Assumably, the story of John Augustus Roebling connects to the Power of Determination & Persistence. Well, this is a real-life story of engineer John Roebling building the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the USA back in 1870.

However, after one of his unforgiving hustle, the bridge was finally completed in 1883. Not forgetting, this was after 13 years of determination & persistence.

Whereby, in 1883, a creative engineer named John Augustus Roebling was inspired by an idea. In that case, to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. 

Despite Rebuke John Augustus Roebling Went Ahead

Be that as it may, bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was all insane. Furthermore, putting it along as an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea.

John Augustus Roebling
They said, “It just could not be done. For it was not practical. It had never been done before.”

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. 

After much discussion and persuasion, he managed to convince his son Washington. Of course, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge, in fact, could be built. The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling.

Not to mention, Washington was also injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage. And, which resulted in him not being able to talk or walk.

“We told them so.” “Crazy men and their crazy dreams.” “It’s foolish to chase wild visions.”

John Augustus Roebling Public Opinion

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built. 

In spite of his handicap, Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever. 

He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task. 

As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.

It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was underway again.

At Last the Bridge Work Completes

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife’s arm until the bridge was finally completed.

Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. 

It is also a tribute to the engineers and their teamwork, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Designed by John Roebling in the late 1860s and completed in 1883 by his son and daughter-in-law Washington and Emily Roebling.

As a matter of fact, the bridge changed the world’s attitude toward steel construction. In addition, revolutionized suspension bridge building, and transformed New York into the city it is today.

The Brooklyn Bridge by John Augustus Roebling
The Brooklyn Bridge by John Augustus Roebling is a Monument to the Human Spirit. Click the image to learn why.

Our Moral Lesson

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude. Especially, that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal. 

Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face.

The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realized with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

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Below are more links from our affiliate sources. Such as;

  1. The Objective Standard: The Brooklyn Bridge: A Monument to the Human Spirit
  2. Wikipedia: John A. Roebling Full Biography
  3. Menta Floss: 15 Fascinating Facts About the Brooklyn Bridge
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