San Francisco

Winds at the Golden Gate

Winds at the Golden Gate

The original Spanish name for San Francisco was Yerba Buena, meaning “good herb” or “good grass.”
Before the great gold rush, the tiny hamlet of Yerba Buena had only a few hundred people living there, but the discovery of gold brought unimaginable growth.  In one year the population increased from 1,000 to 25,000..

A plot of San Francisco real estate that cost $16 in 1847, sold for $45,000 just 18 months later.
In less than two years the city burned to the ground six times, but there was always money to rebuild it bigger and better.

Nearly a half-billion dollar worth of gold passed through the city in the 1850s..

Denim jeans were invented in San Francisco for the Gold Rush miners who needed tough, comfortable clothing..

The Golden Gate Bridge’s paint color is orange vermillion, also called international orange. Architect Irving Morrow selected the color because it blends with the bridge’s natural setting in the bay..

The bridge was fully painted when it was first built and then touched up for the next 27 years. In 1965, the original paint was removed because of corrosion and replaced with a zinc silicate primer and an acrylic emulsion top coat, a project that took 30 years. Today, painters touch up the paint continuously. 38 painters work on the bridge, along with 17 ironworkers who replace corroding steel and rivets..

Two main cables pass over the tops of the main towers and are secured in concrete anchorages at each end. Each cable is made of 27,572 strands of wire. There are 80,000 miles (129,000 km) of wire in the two main cables, and it took over six months to spin them. The best fact about the Golden Gate construction is that only eleven workers died, a new safety record for the time. A innovation was the use of a safety net under the floor girders that saved the lives of nineteen men..