“Tower Bridge – Steam Engine”
High resolution digital image from our catalogue
Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London built between 1886 and 1894. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London. When it was built, Tower Bridge was the largest and most sophisticated bascule bridge ever completed. These bascules were operated by hydraulics, using steam to power the enormous pumping engines. The energy created was stored in six accumulators, as soon as power was required to lift the Bridge, it was always readily available. The accumulators fed the driving engines, which drove the bascules up and down. Despite the complexity of the system, the bascules only took about a minute to raise to their maximum angle of 86 degrees.