Category: Golden Gate Bridge

The place to get information about the Golden Gate Bridge

Lest We Forget

80 years ago today ten men left their homes and went to work on the Golden Gate Bridge with no idea that it would be their last day on earth. Whatever hopes and dreams they had stayed with them when, later that morning, they plunged 220 feet into San Francisco Bay atop a 5-ton scaffold entwined in a safety net. According to witnesses, the sound of the net tearing was like “the crack of a machine gun” or “the rip of a picket fence splintering.” It was the second fatal accident during the construction of the bridge.

Three months before, on October 21, 1936, Kermit Moore was killed when

Saving Time Daily

B ack in the days when I worked for a living, the concept of Daylight Savings Time posed an unusual challenge twice a year at the Golden Gate Bridge. Think beyond the idea of sleeping in for an extra hour, or getting up 60 minutes earlier than the day before. Think about your clocks.

Did you reset yours last night before you went to bed, or are you doing it during the day today? Alarm clocks, kitchen clocks, wall clocks, mantle clocks, wristwatches; Clocks on thermostats, microwave ovens, stoves, dashboards—OMG, the car(s)—and time clocks for sprinklers.

At the Golden Gate Bridge District offices we had all of the above clocks and more (over 50). Guess who got to reset all of the clocks twice a year? That’s right, the Electric Shop.

Deadly Accident

“As I was falling, a piece of lumber fell on my head. I was almost unconscious. Then the icy water of the channel brought me to.” —Slim Lambert, 26, Stripping Crew foreman

79 years ago today ten men left their homes and went to work on the Golden Gate Bridge with no idea that it would be their last day on earth. Whatever hopes and dreams they had stayed with them when, later that morning, they plunged 220 feet into San Francisco Bay atop a 5-ton scaffold entwined in a safety net. According to witnesses, the sound of the net tearing was like “the crack of a machine gun” or “the rip of a picket fence splintering.” It was the second fatal accident during the construction of the bridge.

Three months before, on October 21, 1936, Kermit Moore was killed when he was crushed by a falling steel beam. For 44 months the bridge construction project was fatality-free—a remarkable feat when the prevailing wisdom of the day was that the average “cost” of a job this size was one life per one million dollars spent.

Following up on the Search for Lindros

Halfway to Hell Club book What a difference a day makes

Yesterday I posted a story about a book that detailed the events and people involved in the 1937 scaffold accident on the Golden Gate Bridge. I went to our mailbox an hour ago and found my copy of the book sitting there!

Thank you, Börje Lundvall. Your book is a testament to the power of family, and to the spirit and determination of Immigrants everywhere.

Related Link: Searching for Lindros

Searching for Lindros

Halfway_to_hell_omslag-copy-e1419168262853

“I could hear faint baby-like cries. … The net looked like a sinking raft with the tiny men entangled and trying to get free. … Some drifted out of the Gate and out of sight,” said Tex Lester, a steelworker who sat atop the south tower on February 17, 1937, witnessing the deadliest day in the history of the Golden Gate Bridge, and even to this day, the worst ever in the history of bridge construction. Before the accident, the safety net had saved the lives of nineteen workers from a certain death, a lucky elite party calling themselves the “Halfway to Hell Club.”
—Börje Lundvall

Charles Lindros was one of the men who perished in that accident. The 30-year old immigrant from Sweden left behind a wife, Margaret, and any chance of a better life in his adopted country. He might have been lost in history if not for a bronze plaque on the Golden Gate Bridge and the efforts of his grand-nephew, Börje Lundvall.

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