Lower Trenton Bridge
This Delaware River bridge is emblazoned with a catty slogan from a more prosperous time.
The Lower Trenton Bridge is a rather mundane bridge save for the huge, and hugely boastful, neon sign on its side.
Officially called the Lower Trenton Toll-Supported Bridge, and more commonly known as the “Trenton Makes” Bridge, this 1,022-foot span over the Delaware River connects New Jersey and Pennsylvania and was the first bridge to cross the Delaware when it opened in 1806. Rebuilt several times, the current bridge is a five-span Warren Truss constructed in 1928 on top of the original masonry from the first structure. Despite its official name, tolls are no longer collected on the bridge and it now represents the southernmost free crossing of the Delaware River.
In 1935, the words “TRENTON MAKES THE WORLD TAKES” were installed in large letters on the south-facing side of the bridge. Coined by S. Roy Heath in 1910 as the slogan for the city of Trenton, the phrase represented the pride felt by the citizens of Trenton, a major manufacturing center for china, rubber, wire rope, and cigars at the time. In 2005, an upgraded sign was installed on the bridge with higher-efficiency neon lighting
Although Trenton is no longer the industrial powerhouse it once was, the message is still clearly visible, letting everyone know that old Trenton would like a little respect.
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