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Northern Liberties Bridge Company Ledger

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The entire collection is scanned and online.

What's in the entire collection?

In the Northern Liberties Bridge Company ledger, which covers the years from 1836 to 1909, there is a variety of information, including: contract and rules of the bridge construction, names of stockholders, records of monetary transactions, including all bills paid, and minutes from the board of manager meetings. The ledger commences with the basic information about the project, and then discusses various "by-laws" describing what will happen once the bridge is built and how it will be maintained. For example, there are a few entries written on the intended cost of tolls paid when crossing the bridge. The tolls were calculated by wheels or the horses on a wagon, or other vehicles, and maintains and provides a corresponding price. The rest of the ledger is comprised with minutes from meetings, usually held twice a year, with lists of bills paid and a short section on the changes in managerial staff in Downtown Pittsburgh.

About the Northern Liberties Bridge Company

The Northern Liberties Bridge Company was chartered by the state of Pennsylvania in 1836 to build a bridge from Mechanics Street (later renamed 16th Street) in the Borough of Northern Liberties (incorporated into Pittsburgh in 1837) to span the Allegheny River. The bridge, called the Mechanics Street Bridge, was completed in 1838. It was damaged by fire in 1851 and flood in 1865, and burned again in 1918. Today, the 16th Street Bridge stands where the Mechanics Street Bridge use to be, connecting the North Shore to the Strip District.

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