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    20 Mar 2017

    This Is What Sydney Looked Like Before The Harbour Bridge Was Built

    The Coathanger made things SO much easier.

    Before the Sydney Harbour Bridge was built, getting from the south of the city to the north was a real hassle.

    Sands & Kenny / State Library of NSW / Via sl.nsw.gov.au

    A map of Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River from 1858.

    The Sydney Harbour Bridge opened to the public in 1932. Prior to that people wanting to cross the harbour from the southern to the northern suburbs relied on ferries and boats.

    Melvin Vaniman / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    A view of Circular Quay with Bennelong Point (left) - the future site of the Sydney Opera House - and Dawes Point (right), taken from the north side of the harbour in 1904.

    Fondly known by locals as The Coathanger, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is 85 years old.

    American & Australasian Photographic Company / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    People looking at Sydney Harbour from Mrs Macquarie's Chair in the Royal Botanic Gardens, circa 1870-1875.

    Which means there are people alive today who were around when you couldn't just drive from Sydney's south to its north. In 1932 the horse and cart was fading into history; cars and buses were gaining in popularity, but most people got around in trams and trains.

    Sam Hood / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    Horse-drawn traffic seen on Bridge Street, a block from Circular Quay, circa 1912.

    And on boats and ferries.

    State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    Ships and ferries cross Sydney Harbour from Milsons Point, with Circular Quay seen in the distance, 1914.

    Sydney had a bustling ferry network for commuters.

    Arthur K. Syer / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    People walking to and from Circular Quay along Phillip Street, circa1885-90.

    Boats were a significant part of the harbour landscape.

    Charles Percy Pickering / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    Ships and ferries docked at Circular Quay in 1871.

    Because there was an entire community already living on the other side of the water.

    State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    A view of Milsons Point and Kirribilli taken from the south side at Dawes Point in 1921.

    A lot of families settled in the north and commuted daily to the city.

    Francis W. Robinson / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    A view of Sydney Harbour taken from North Sydney in 1876, showing Lavander Bay.

    It's OK, though โ€“ no passport was required.

    Melvin Vaniman / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    A panorama of Sydney Harbour taken from the north shore in 1903.

    The Manly ferry was popular.

    Arthur K Syer / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    Scenes at the Manly Ferry Wharf Sydney circa 1885-1890.

    But eventually Sydneysiders realised the city couldn't remain divided forever, and people began digging.

    Ted Hood / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    Early excavations of northern end of York Street, the future site of the southern approach to the Harbour Bridge, taken circa 1930-1932.

    Thanks to them we can now travel to visit our northern neighbours by car, bus, train, ferry or on foot.

    State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    The quarry at Moruya used for the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, circa 1925-1927.

    So Happy 85th birthday Sydney Harbour Bridge! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽˆ

    Ted Hood / State Library of NSW / Via Flickr: statelibraryofnsw

    Photographer Ted Hood took this photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge while hanging upside down 130 metres above the harbour.

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