June 14, 1874

A big crowd of onlookers cheered as a “test elephant” was led across Eads Bridge. People believed that elephants could somehow sense whether or not a structure could support its weight. Eventually Eads ran 14 locomotives back and forth across the bridge while inspectors looked for signs of stress.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.

Photo by Moran Passage

 

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