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HolidayBuyer's Guide

'View from a Ferry Boat Passing on the North Side; to the Left Is the Center Anchorage'

'Deep in Contemplation, a Crew Goes Home after Hearing of a Fatality'

Cable spinning between two towers begins

Cable spinning

Riveter without safety belt

Workman inspecting bridge tower

Cable spinning on beams

Properly outfitted

'Girders Above'

Payday

Bay Bridge construction

'Central Anchorage with Ferries'

'The Raised Bridge'

Architectural study of the Bay Bridge Center Anchorage

View from a car heading west on the bridge

Today, San Francisco's de Young museum debuted its latest exhibit, "The Bay Bridge: A Work in Progress, 1933–1936." Featuring dozens of photographs by then-newcomer Peter Stackpole as well as many drawings, lithographs, and watercolors by established artists, the new show highlights the scale and scope of what was then one of America's biggest-ever infrastructure projects.

This photograph, with the unwieldy title "View from a Ferry Boat Passing on the North Side; to the Left Is the Center Anchorage," by Stackpole, of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, was taken in 1935. Lacking the roadbed, the bridge was still in its early stages. It was completed in 1937.

The exhibit runs through June 8.

Caption by / Photo by Peter Stackpole/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
This 1935 Stackpole photo, titled "Deep in Contemplation, a Crew Goes Home after Hearing of a Fatality," shows a group of bridge workers after a tragedy. But it also shows an amazing view of the Bay Bridge, early in its construction, with no roadbed. Anyone familiar with the bridge today would recognize it, but find it extremely strange looking.
Caption by / Photo by Peter Stackpole/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
In this 1936 Stackpole photograph, cable spinning begins between two towers as gallows frames dot the catwalk.
Caption by / Photo by Peter Stackpole/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
With San Francisco in the background, the Bay Bridge cable-spinning operation is seen in this 1935 Stackpole photograph.
Caption by / Photo by Peter Stackpole/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
A riveter finishes off a tower plate without the security of a safety belt, as seen in this 1935 Stackpole photograph. San Francisco's Coit Tower is seen at the very left of the photograph.
Caption by / Photo by Peter Stackpole/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
In this untitled 1939 Stackpole photograph, taken after the Bay Bridge was completed and opened, a worker inspects one of its towers.
Caption by / Photo by Peter Stackpole/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
In this 1936 Stackpole photograph, several workers are seen balancing on beams and catwalks as they run the cable spinning operation.
Caption by / Photo by Peter Stackpole/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Stackpole profiled this properly outfitted bridge worker, who has on a hard hat, heavy gloves, spiked wrenches, and a safety line. The photograph was taken in 1935, midway through the bridge's construction.
Caption by / Photo by Peter Stackpole/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Otis Oldfield made this lithograph, entitled "Girders above," in 1936.
Caption by / Photo by Otis Oldfield/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Stackpole photographed these workers getting paid at the paymaster shack located at the bottom of one of the towers in 1934.
Caption by / Photo by Peter Stackpole/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Artist George Booth showcased bridge construction in this 1934 watercolor.
Caption by / Photo by George Booth/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
"Central Anchorage with Ferries," a 1936 lithograph by Otis Oldfield, from his series, "Building the Bay Bridge."
Caption by / Photo by Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Artist Dong Kingman's 1934 watercolor, "The Raised Bridge," was almost certainly painted from the vantage point of San Francisco's Second Street, just a few blocks south of the current location of CNET's main offices.
Caption by / Photo by Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Designers Timothy Pflueger and James Miller drew this study of the bridge's center anchorage between 1933 and 1934.
Caption by / Photo by Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
In this 1938 photograph, Stackpole showed one of the bridge's towers from the vantage point of a car heading into San Francisco.
Caption by / Photo by Peter Stackpole/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
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