Tower Bridge - Framed Print - 11" x 14"
Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London built in 1886–1894.
In the second half of the 19th century, increased commercial development in the East End of London led to a requirement for a new river crossing. A traditional fixed bridge at street level could not be built because it would cut off access by sailing ships to the port facilities in the Pool of London.
Sir John Wolfe Barry, devised the idea of a bascule bridge with two bridge towers built on piers. The central span was split into two equal bascules or leaves, which could be raised to allow river traffic to pass.
In December 1952, the bridge opened while a number 78 double-decker bus was crossing from the south bank. A safety procedure had failed, the bus was near the edge of the south bascule when it started to rise; driver Albert Gunter made a split-second decision to accelerate, clearing a 3 feet gap to drop 6 feet onto the north bascule. There were no serious injuries. Gunter was given £10 by the City Corporation to honour his act of bravery.