Australia New South Wales Sydney
50th Anniversary of Sydney Harbour Bridge 1982 (AD)
Other Details: A gilt medal issued by M.R. Roberts to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 19 March 1932. It was struck by Amor for M.R. Roberts; medals were struck at the same time for the NSW Department of Main Roads (which organized the jubilee celebrations) and the Australian Numismatic Society. The Mains Roads medals were given to those who worked on the original bridge construction; the other members were distributed to numismatists and the general public.
A gilt medal issued by M.R. Roberts View of side of Sydney Harbour Bridge with Luna Park in background, above, SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE / JUBILEE / 1932 / 1982 View of side of Sydney Harbour Bridge with Sydney Opera House in background, below ISSUED BY / M.R. Roberts'
View of side of Sydney Harbour Bridge with Luna Park in background, above, SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE / JUBILEE / 1932 / 1982
View of side of Sydney Harbour Bridge with Sydney Opera House in background, below ISSUED BY / M.R. Roberts'
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world's largest (but not longest) steel arch bridge. Its total length including approach spans is 1149 metres and its arch span is 503 metres. The top of the arch is 134 metres above sea level. The total steelwork weighs 52,800 tonnes, including 39,000 tonnes in the arch. The 49-metre wide deck makes Sydney Harbour Bridge the widest Longspan Bridge in the world.
The idea of a bridge linking the northern and southern shores of Sydney Harbour was suggested as early as 1815 by former convict turned Government Architect Francis Greenway. Numerous proposals were discussed during the nineteenth century, including a suggestion by a naval architect in 1840 to construct a floating bridge. Other suggestions included a truss bridge in 1879 and in 1880 a high-level bridge.
Sydney engineer Peter Henderson drew one of the earliest known renditions of a bridge, around 1857. The 'father' of the Bridge, though, is considered to be J.J.C. Bradfield, a senior engineer who worked for the Department of Public Works. Bradfield's his vision, enthusiasm, expertise and supervision of all aspects of its construction finally realised the dream.
Bradfield developed the full specifications and scheme to finance the construction of a cantilever bridge, although the Legislative Council rejected the idea since the money could be better used to fight World War I. Bradfield became convinced that tenders should be called for both cantilever and arch designs, and in 1922 the necessary Act was finally passed in 1922 - the Sydney Harbour Bridge Act No. 28 - for the construction of a high-level cantilever or arch bridge across Sydney Harbour by connecting Dawes Point with Milson's Point. The Act also provided for the construction of electric railway lines.
In 1924 the construction contract was awarded to the English firm Dorman Long & Co of Middlesbrough, England, with a design for an arch bridge. The arch design was not only cheaper than the cantilever and suspension proposals but was also more rigid, and was therefore better fitted for the heavy loads.
Construction began in July 1923, and the two arches met at the centre of the span in August 1930. Premier Jack Lang opened the Harbour Bridge on the 19 March 1932. Francis Edward de Groot, a member of the New Guard, disrupted the opening ceremony when he slashed the ceremonial ribbon before the Premier was able to officially open the bridge.
The Bridge was an icon of hope - and a major employer - during the Depression, and opening celebrations were lavish. Between 300,000 and 1,000,000 people participated in the festivities, including decorated floats, marching groups and bands, a gun-salute, a procession of passenger ships under the Bridge and a Venetian Canival. After the pageant members of the public were allowed to walk across the deck.
-State Records of NSW web site http://www.records.nsw.gov.au/publications/aibs/037/page02.htm; Bridge Climb web site http://www.bridgeclimb.com. -D. Tout-Smith 15/10/2003.
Donation from Barrie Winsor - Wynyard Coin Centre, 26/11/1989
(edge) Plain (obverse) View of side of Sydney Harbour Bridge with Luna Park in background, above, SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE / JUBILEE / 1932 / 1982 (reverse) View of side of Sydney Harbour Bridge with Sydney Opera House in background, below ISSUED BY / M.R. Roberts'
Type of item
13.35 g (Weight)