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Taken during the latter phases of the Sydney Harbour Bridge’s construction, this image highlights the relationship between the bridge, Sydney, world economy, and political landscape at large. Firstly, the bridge was designed to ensure safe and reliable transportation links between Sydney’s primary settlement on the southern shore and the growing areas of north of Sydney. Secondly, it was designed to assist the continued economic growth of New South Wales. The chief engineer of the bridge, Dr. J. C. Bradfield, made a number of radio broadcasts from 1931 to 1932. He states in his first broadcasts on 16th September, 1931;
The future of New South Wales will always be dependent upon its commerce overseas, our primary products must find a market abroad and we must take the products of other countries in exchange, the sea is our outlet, the Harbour our heritage, the place of assembly for our ships, and neither bridge nor subway which would restrict the development of the Harbour should be entertained.
The bridges final design, with its single span over the water and provision for a headway for shipping of 170 feet (51.82 meters) at the centre, represents the belief that this bridge would not only connect Sydney but also strengthen trade and commerce internationally. In this case the vessel passing under the bridge is
a war ship, its name is unknown HMAS Canberra (I). Thanks to Bob Meade and the Australian National Maritime Museums Lindsey Shaw for identifying the ship.
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