Unlocking North Vancouver History

Building a Vancouver Icon: The Lions Gate Bridge

Wrapping Wire

This original piece of cable-wrapping wire shows remnants of international aviation orange paint. The colour was used on the main cables and the steel suspender ropes, which held up the roadway. This was done to make them highly visible to small aircraft and was required by aerial navigation regulations at the time. Most of the bridge’s steelwork was painted a rich viridian, or olive, green. Only the underside of the suspended span was painted dark brown. Once the cables were fully loaded with the suspender ropes, cedar filler strips (one of which is shown here) were added to turn the hexagonal shape into a cylindrical form. The cables were then wrapped with galvanized wire. Just like the main cable, the wrapping wire was produced by John A. Roebling’s Sons Company in the U.S., the same manufacturer that had provided wire for the first major suspension span, the Brooklyn Bridge.

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This is a piece of cedar filler used to make the main cables cylindrical, along with a piece of the original galvanized wire that was wrapped around the main bridge cables.

The wire was used to wrap the entire length of the two main cables to secure and protect the 61 smaller strands inside.

Wrapping the cables was one of the finishing jobs performed towards the end of the project, during October of 1938.

Evelyn Caldwell, a well-known local journalist, was the first woman to cross the bridge via the catwalks and roadbed. Her article about the experience appeared in the Vancouver News-Herald on August 30, 1938.

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