Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee

Tay Rail Bridge, Dundee - Ref: WC1653

Photograph from Alexander Wilson Collection. The photograph shows three engines with tenders on the bridge and workmen still on the bridge. Below there are groups of people watching the work from Riverside.

As work progressed on the bridge it became clear that the appearance of the bridge was considerably different from the original drawings. The iron columns were made at a foundry which was established in Wormit. Made from poor quality iron, the columns played an important part in the disaster.

It was a dangerous life for the workmen. The workforce started at 25 and rose to 500 at the height of the building. The worst accident happened on 26 August 1873 when five men were drowned whilst working at the bottom of a pier and a sixth was killed when an engine boiler fell on him

Alexander Wilson who took this photograph, was a supervisor in a Dundee jute mill for over 20 years. He bequeathed much of his collection and £50, to cover the costs involved, to the Free Library Committee of Dundee in 1923.

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