National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

The Forth Bridge

The Forth Bridge


The Forth Bridge is often described as one of the wonders of the industrial world. Over 400 photographs in National Records of Scotland document the construction of this Scottish icon. Taken by assistant engineer Evelyn Carey (1858-1932) throughout the bridge's seven year construction from 1883 to 1890, the glass plate negatives give a unique account of progress on the Forth Bridge, from the building of parts on drill roads to almost completed spans of the bridge. This is one example from the collection, dated 1889, which shows the incomplete Forth Bridge from the north west, Fife pier in the foreground, Inchgarvie and Queensferry beyond. The cantilevers are almost complete but work on the central girders has not commenced.

The Forth Bridge, 1883-1890

Credit: Crown copyright, NRS, BR/FOR/4/34/223 (Link to the Online Catalogue entry)