Restored Historical Footage of the Williamsburg Bridge Opening in 1903 Connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan

Guy Jones (previously) beautifully restored footage of the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903. Brooklyn Mayor Seth Low led the joyous parade of New Yorkers walking across for the very first time. This day was quite historic as this bridge connected the neighborhoods of the Lower East Side of Manhattan with the neighborhoods of North Brooklyn thereby bringing the two boroughs even closer together.

Early film of the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge with the mayor Seth Low in NYC on Dec. 19, 1903. Cool view of bulky early cameras at 2:00. Added in sound ambiance to compliment the visuals. This film was shot by G.W. “Billy” Bitzer.

The Williamsburg Bridge has had a rocky history. In 1988, the bridge underwent a giant repair and retrofitting project that lasted quite a while, as described in an astute documentary on the subject. The bridge was fully re-opened in 2002, in time for the next year’s Centennial celebration.

Here are some photos showing this magnificent bridge as it currently stands.

The Brooklyn Bridge had opened 20 years prior in 1883 and connected lower Manhattan with the DUMBO/Brooklyn Heights neighborhoods of South Brooklyn. In 1909, the Manhattan Bridge was erected, connecting Lower Manhattan with Downtown Brooklyn.