Sydney Harbour Bridge turns 80

Today, the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge celebrates its 80th birthday!

Officially opened on 19 March 1932, the construction of this major engineering feat commenced in 1923. ‘The giant coat-hanger’, as it is affectionately known, took 1,300 men to build it, using six million rivets and 53,000 tonnes of steel.

Below are some images from our collection that document the construction of the bridge. Click on the images for more information from our eMuseum.

MV Port Alma of London with Sydney Habour Bridge underconstruction in background

MV Port Alma of London. Sydney Harbour 23 February 1930. Photographer: Frederick Garner Wilkinson

Parrakoola of Goteborg with Sydney Harbour Bridge under construction in background

Parrakoola of Goteborg. Sydney 20 April 1930. Photographer: Frederick Garner Wilkinson

Dutch cruiser HNLMS Java with Sydney Harbour Bridge under construction in backround

Postcard of Dutch cruiser HNLMS Java. Sydney 1930.

Postcard of SS Pakeha with Sydney Harbour Bridge under construction.

Postcard of SS Pakeha. Sydney 25 December 1930.

Rowboat on Sydney Harbour with Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background

Rowboat on Sydney Harbour. Early 20th century. Photographer: William James Hall

For those with a keen interest, we have a great book available  in our online store called Building the Sydney Harbour Bridge, written by John Nicholson.

Book cover of Building the Sydney Harbour Bridge by John Nicholson

One thought on “Sydney Harbour Bridge turns 80

  1. Interesting as this was the first ship I ever sailed on. Leaving King George dock, London, sailed through Panama Canal to New Zealand and Australia. Return via Aden and Suez to Palermo, Genoa, Marseilles and Bristol (Avonmouth) , A complete circumnavigation in around 5 months. At the time I was Junior Engineer Officer and acted on the return on the fridge equipment (Co2). Many breakdowns on route, no air conditioner and every movement in the movements book . Some voyage. 15 Engineers total and all engine control from engineroom. Today, all control is from bridge. Now I live full time in Victoria, Australia and cannot believe my time aboard was over 50 years ago.

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