THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, CLASSED AS ONE OF THE “SEVEN WONDERS OF THE INDUSTRIAL WORLD,” OPENED ON THIS DAY IN 1883: The brainchild of German immigrant John Augustus Roebling, it took 14 years to build, and Roebling himself died as a result of an on-the-job injury before the project was completed. Instead, it was his son, Washington Roebling, who saw the bridge to completion.

The old line about “if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you” is based on truth. At least two con men—George C. Parker and William McCloundy—did time in Sing Sing for “selling” the Brooklyn Bridge to naïve purchasers.