In one motion picture, MAE WEST played a shady lady who was trying to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to a foreigner. It was during the month of January — — exactly 140 years ago — — that the complex construction began [on 3 January 1870]. Completed over a dozen years later, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge was opened for use on 24 May 1883.
• • Bridging that thought (in case you did not know), well north of New York City, the Sarnia Road Bridge, situated on Sarnia Road in Middlesex County, Ontario [London] — — described as a "beautiful pin-connected Pratt through truss bridge" — — was built in the late 1890s from St. James, Manitoba and relocated to its current location in 1909. Experts have said that pin connected truss bridges are in very short supply in southwestern Ontario.
• • Canadian freelancer George Clark was thinking of Mae and bridge work recently. Clark writes: It was back in 1937 when Mae West starred in the comedy "Every Day's a Holiday" [released on 18 December 1937] in which a female hustler Peaches O'Day sold the Brooklyn Bridge for $200.
• • What eventually came to stand for a universal joke on gullibility was based on fact. The New York Times reported that several turn-of-the century (20th century) con artists sold the Brooklyn Bridge many times over for prices ranging from $200 to $1,000. Jay Robert Nash's book, Hustlers and Con Men, stated some con artists would wait until police were not in sight, quickly put up a "Bridge for sale" sign and manage some quick transactions.
• • Now London may be getting its own chance to get in on the game, but legally.
• • City council this week endorsed a report of its environment and transportation committee that the Sarnia Rd. bridge in northwest London be treated as a heritage structure, but not actually designated as one. Council was told this would allow for possible heritage funding without imposing any heritage restrictions on what can be done with the structure.
• • City hall's growth management implementation study calls for the Sarnia Road Bridge, a favourite choke point for traffic using the road during rush hour, to be replaced in 2011 . . . .
• • Peaches O'Day would probably have had no problem selling the bridge many times over. It remains to be seen what London can do.
— — Excerpt: — —
• • Article: "Psst! Anybody want to buy a bridge? Make your best offer"
• • BY: By George Clark, Special to QMI Agency
• • Published online by ifpress.com
• • Published on 22 January 2010
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