On opening day, July 1, 1926, an estimated 250,000 people paraded across the Delaware River Bridge, “a mighty throng 35 abreast,” reported The Philadelphia Inquirer. The chief engineer, a Polish immigrant named Ralph Modjeski, proclaimed that his bridge could hold the entire population of Camden “without showing any strain.” He was better than his word. Camden’s 1920 population was 116,309.
The bridge toll was 25 cents – and that was controversial. The bridge was a joint effort; New Jersey pressed for tolls, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia wanted the bridge “to remain forever free.” In order to get it built, Pennsylvania relented.
This photo was taken by an Inquirer staff photographer.
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