The bridge is an instantly recognisable feature on Scotland's east coast. When it opened in 1890, the Forth Bridge had the longest single cantilever bridge span in the world. It was the first large scale structure completed in steel in the UK, consisting of over 50,000 tons of steel connected by around 6.5 million rivets.
At the peak of construction, up to 4,600 men worked on the bridge, though many were contracted for very short periods of time. Exposed to all weather conditions and working at height with little or no protection, workers risked injury or death. The official death toll was 57, though it is now believed that the actual number of fatalities was much higher.
Photography was becoming increasingly common as a visual medium around the time the bridge began to emerge from the Forth. The Library has many examples showing the partially completed structure. This print is from a large presentation album, and is one of the few showing construction workers.
[Library reference: Acc.14382.]