104 Jaw-Dropping Historical Photos

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The Golden Gate Bridge, mid-construction in 1937

Construction on the Golden Gate Bridge began on January 5,1933 and cost $35 million to build. However, it was completed ahead of the projected schedule and under budget by $1.3 million. Pretty impressive for such a huge undertaking.

Proposed colors for the bridge included carbon gray, aluminum, or black, and the U.S. Navy wanted black with yellow stripes (for greater visibility). But Irving Morrow, the consulting architect (who was also responsible for the bridge’s Art Deco look), didn’t want any of those colors: The black was unattractive and would reduce the scale of his bridge; aluminum would make the towers look tiny.

In the end, he was inspired by the red primer the steel beams had been coated in at the factories back east, and settled on International Orange, which complemented the bridge’s natural surroundings but also helped the structure stand out from the sea and sky. “The effect of International Orange is as highly pleasing as it is unusual in the realm of engineering,” Morrow said. As an added benefit, the color is highly visible in fog.

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