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Colossus of the Pacific

Never before has a bridge pier arisen naked from the open sea. It remained for the Golden Gate Bridge to win this distinction for the West ... In these photographs we show the south pier and tower, the pylons and the cable anchorage and housing as they looked in February. These are on the San Francisco side of the Gate.

To the right and in the foreground of the larger picture is one of the two weighted-blocks that will ballast the cable anchorage. On top if it is a crane, and if your eyes are sharp, you may make out the men standing near it. Just to the left of this eight-block, a sister will take shape. Both of these structures are to be concrete shells loaded with material heavy enough to resist three times the anticipated strain. Directly under them are eye-bars that reach deeply into the concrete anchorage for a relentless grip on the southern shore.

Forward from the anchorage and weight-blocks is the cable housing. This will shelter the cable strands from sun and rain where they spread fan-wide from the pylons, each to its eye-bar.

At the far end of the housing and just short of old Fort Winfield Scott is the beginning of Pylon S-1. This structure and Pylon S-2, just beyond the fort and nearer completion, will guide the cables and help support the southern end of the bridge’s floor. They will be about 250 feet high when finished, and a study steel arch will be wedged between them. These are the sole connecting links between land and the tower to be raised upon the pier that shows in the upper left hand corner of the picture.

The inside photograph is of the south pier and its protective fender. The trestle leading from alongside the fort to the fender was built to service the construction and to supply concrete mixed “on the run” by trucks with a capacity of four cubic yards per load. Everything but the steel itself, and some very heavy pieces of equipment, was supplied across this trestle. The steel, much of it in fabricated pieces that weight up to seventy tons, has to be lightered. One of these barges was moored to the fender when this picture was taken.

This pier, composed of approximately 147,600 tons of concrete, was built in 100 feet of open water, full in the face of the sometimes calm, sometimes raging Pacific. This was made possible by the concrete fender that in itself is a marvel of construction. It is 300 feet long and 155 feet wide at the center line of the bridge. It extends 100 feet below, reaches 15 feet above mean high water. This fender is composed of approximately 152,600 tons of concrete. This great sheath was built to facilitate construction of the pier and to protect it from the sweep of heavy seas. Sea water comes in through surge-holds to the space between the fender and the pier to counter-balance pressure on the fender.

The windlass-like machines that flank the trestle’s junction with the fender are the hoisting engines. Each is equipped with 9000 feet of cable to ply the tackle of cranes that climb the tower on a traveller truss to keep pace with each new height.

Tracks around the wooden platform on the fender support the “whirley,“ the movable crane you see near the hoisting engine on the right. Its usefulness is about over on this job. The long-armed crane in the foreground will lift steel off lighters just as easily as you would pick up a toy locomotive. Its boom is 145 feet long and it, too, can hoist 80 tons with ease and safety.

This mechanical equipment is of especial interest to us of Associated Oil Company. Cycol and Avon motor oils and lubricants are being used almost entirely to lubricate and protect the machines upon which so much depends. Engineers report happily that Cycol and Avon are doing their numberless jobs well, that they are living up to the stamina and low service costs that are claimed for them. It is a source of pride that our products are serving on an enterprise of such scope and importance.


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