Sunday, December 8, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 8

December 8, 1904 – “After having danced a jig on the topmost girder of Duluth’s new aerial ferry bridge, 155 feet from the ground, W. G. Ellis, a Minneapolis workman employed on the structure, met death today while lowering himself to the ground to go to the aid of [his] injured brother.

Ray Ellis had descended from the structure only a moment before, sliding down a cable. The wire was icy and he was unable to check his speed, striking a block, a short distance from the ground. When W. G. Ellis learned that his brother was hurt he rushed to the rescue, using the same cable in his descent. He, too, lost control of himself and struck the ground with terrific force, breathing his back and right leg. He died fifty minutes later without recovering consciousness.”

St. Paul Globe; Dances and Falls; Workman is Killed on Duluth Aerial Bridge”; Dec. 9, 1904; p.1

Aerial Bridge Over Ship Canal, Duluth, Minn.

Second of its kind in the world.  Clear span 400 feet; clear height 136 feet; total height above water, 186 feet.   (Postmark Superior Wisc Oct 14, 1909)

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