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William Notman 
Niagara Falls, with Remnants of the Lewiston Suspension Bridge 
1868 (ca) 
Albumen silver print, from glass negative 
13 1/8 × 16 5/16 in. (33.4 × 41.4 cm) 
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) 
Museum purchase funded by Photo Forum 2022, 2022.201. 
“It seems a tumbling ocean; and you yourself what a helpless atom amid these vast and eternal workings of gigantic nature!” wrote one 19th-century observer at Niagara Falls. Attempting to match nature’s grandeur with the genius of modern engineering, an 841-foot-long bridge was constructed in 1850–51, spanning the Niagara Gorge and linking the United States and Canada. Less than three years later, the bridge was destroyed by powerful winds; its dangling cables remain visible in William Notman’s photograph. Not until the end of the 19th century would a new bridge be constructed. 

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