The ‘Trenton Makes’ bridge opens for business — This week in Jersey history
On January 30th, 1806, the first bridge spanning the Delaware River opened. It would later go on to be known as the Trenton Makes Bridge.
According to Destination: Trenton, the bridge was originally constructed by wood and was built high enough to avoid being washed away in the 1841 flood that destroyed other bridges that had been built across the river. Later, the bridge was reconstructed to accommodate railroad traffic and became the first bridge to allow interstate railway commerce. The bridge was originally a toll bridge, but when it was sold by the Pennsylvania Railroad to the state governments, the tolls were removed.
In 1910, the Trenton Chambering of Commerce held a contest to name the bridge. The winning entry was “The World Takes, Trenton Makes." The slogan refers to Trenton’s position as a manufacturing hub for china, rubber, wire rope, and cigars, according to Atlas Obscura. The slogan was later altered to "Trenton Makes, the world takes."
The original metal sign was erected in 1911; it was replaced and/or upgraded in 1917, 1935, 1981, and, finally, in 2005. It was that last upgrade that installed high-efficiency neon lights that illuminate the “Trenton Makes The World Takes” sign to this day.
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