Melbourne Daily Photo

Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.

Waltzing Australia

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Queens Bridge...and... Harry Houdini

An historic road bridge, Queens Bridge was built in 1899 replacing an earlier wooden footbridge built in 1860 and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Queens Bridge

On the north side of Queens Bridge is Queens Wharf and Enterprize Wharf with Banana Alley to the right. Heading south over the Yarra, the bridge is near the Crown Entertainment Complex at Southbank, and lies between Yarra Promenade and Southbank Promenade. The bridge is an an important traffic link connecting the north of Melbourne with the south. Tram No 55 runs from North Coburg and crosses over Queens Bridge to South Melbourne terminating at Domain Interchange.
This photo was taken from Yarra Promenade and is facing north.

Close up of decorative artwork
Built by constructor David Munro, the bridge is a very flat arch, and has five spans constructed of wrought iron plate girders. The bridge rests on iron cylinders filled with concrete, in groups of eight, with arched bracing between.

Wrought iron plate girder span
This photo shows one of the wrought iron plate girder spans. Photo taken from Batman Park and is facing south west.

Lacework on Queens Bridge
At each end of the bridge is decorative iron lacework, so beloved by the Victorians.

Queens Bridge circa 1900
Melbourne certainly has grown since this photo was taken. (Photo courtesy of the National Library)

Are you aware that the famous Harry Houdini jumped off the Queens Bridge Melbourne one hundred years ago?

Harry Houdini jumping off Queens Bridge

In 1910 Harry Houdini jumped off Queens Bridge bound in 25 pounds of chains and irons to a crowd of some 20,000 very excited onlookers. Crowds had started gathering early, it was a stinking hot day, so hot you could fry an egg on the footpath, (Melbourne was in the middle of a heatwave) and people from all walks of life lined the bridge and the banks of the Yarra to watch this amazing feat.

Harry arrived by car dressed in navy blue neck-to-knees (bathers), he then had handcuffs attached to his wrists, heavy chains wrapped and padlocked around his head and body and his arms immobilised. After diving into the water, the crowd held its breath. After what seemed an eternity, but was in actual fact only a few minutes, Harry's head surfaced and he triumphantly waved the chains around in his hand. You can read more about it here. (Photo courtesy of the State Library of Victoria)

Today's Quote: The easiest way to attract a crowd is to let it be known that at a given time and a given place someone is going to attempt something that in the event of failure will mean sudden death ~ Harry Houdini

For more Sunday Bridges, visit San Fransisco Daily Photo


Jacob said...

No, I did not know that about Houdini! Very interesting. This bridge is utterly fantastic! It looks like it did 100 years ago - must be cared for well and on a regular basis. It's so beautiful - can't help but remind me a bit of Paris.

Melbourne is such a lovely city!

Luis Gomez said...

What a great post. Wonderful pictures and cool info.

Lesley said...

Such beautiful streamlined elegance!

Luna Miranda said...

what a lovely scene. great vantage point.

EG Wow said...

It's a handsome bridge and in great condition. Wow! Houdini really got around, didn't he? I had no idea he'd performed in Melbourne.

Kaori said...

What a thrilling history the bridge has! And I love the angle of you second photo :D

joo said...

Great post, I like all photos, but the detail is my favourite!
Happy Sunday to you!

Johnny said...

Una gran historia la de este puente y Houdini, el rey del escapismo de todos los tiempos.
Encantado de tu visita :)

Rob and Mandy said...

Nice and interesting post, BFG. Don't you just love the old bathsuits?!

Davine said...

Wow I didn't know that about Houdini - once again thanks for my history lesson. I do love Melbourne bridges.

Eden said...

Great photos. Love to visit Melbourne one day. Thank you for sharing beautiful photos and information. Nice post!

cieldequimper said...

Excellent story! I love the bridge, its soft curve upwards and the decoration is very attractive.

AB said...

I wonder if the river was as dirty looking when Houdini jumped in.

Nice bit of history

Birdman said...

Cool shot. Love the Houdini reference. Didn't know that.

Inverness Daily Photo said...

It looks very much the same as it did 100 years ago.

Cezar and Léia said...

A sturdy bridge... A nice view of the city... And what a story with Mr. Houdini!
God bless you!

Small City Scenes said...

Wonderful bridge with great history. Can you match up any buildings that are in both pictures?
I am glad you like suspension bridges too. they are fun. MB

Lindy MacDuff said...

A very interesting post and great images to go along. Thank you for including the info about Harry Houdini. I did not know he had jumped off the Queens Bridge.

Thanks for your visit and comment on my sky view/Sunday bridges post.

Hope you have a great week! =)

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» is delighted that you posted this most interesting contribution to Sunday Bridges!

It's not a Rolls-Royce...

Melbourne Daily Photo

Hello, I created this blog because Melbourne is my city and I want people to see what a beautiful place it is. So come with me on a journey of discovery as we traverse the dining precincts, the culture, the laneways and hidden gems that make Melbourne marvellous.