Objects | Industry


Sydney Harbour Bridge Trowel, 1925

The Dorman Museum, Tees Valley

Heavy Industry, Bridges, Firsts

1900 – 1945

This cermonial trowel represents the largest steel arched bridge in the world, which was built by North East ingenuity.

The dominant steel company on Teesside, Dorman Long, had decided to branch out into engineering. Their construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia made engineering history. The great arch was built out from both shores without any support from the water underneath. It remains to this day the world’s largest steel arched bridge.

The 52,800 tonnes of steel used was for the most part made in Middlesbrough. It is held together by around six million iron rivets. A special steel had to be employed for the construction of the principal span and the rolling mills had to cope with sections and plates that were of a greater size than had ever previously been manufactured for bridgework.

Arthur Dorman, Chairman of Dorman Long, was presented with this silver plated commemorative trowel at the official ceremony to set the foundation stone of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 26 March, 1925.

On display at the Dorman Museum, Middlesbrough

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