The Brooklyn Bridge was designed by a fellow named John Roebling. When John Roebling was surveying the construction site, his foot was crushed in an accident involving a ferry and a piling. His toes were amputated, but he died from infections. His son Washington Roebling then took on the project.
Washington Roebling then was incapacitated after he suffered “the bends” or decompression sickness. (Sadly, 27 people were killed during the construction of the bridge.) As Washington Roebling watched the bridge’s construction from his bedside window, his wife Emily Roebling took on the day-to-day communications between her husband and the engineers and workers on-site.