One of the great things about doing the VisDare challenge is that sometimes I stumble across an image that is more than just an atmospheric, story-inducing photo – sometimes it is a moment in time, captured from a real event.

Though I didn’t know it when I posted it yesterday, the current VisDare, “Clarity,” is one of those photos. Thanks to the quick reply of Bjorn, I now know that it is from the aftermath of the Narrows Bridge collapse in Tacoma, Washington on November 7, 1940.

For engineering students, the demise of the “Galloping Gertie” is likely to be very familiar, as it is a cautionary tale of how not to skimp costs and compromise safety when building a suspension bridge – or any kind of structure, for that matter.

The real bonus – and what Bjorn so kindly tossed my way when he brought this to my attention – is the 16 mm Kodachrome film footage taken by Barney Elliott of the collapse, and the rollercoaster convulsions that preceded it. I include that here for historically curious. Who knows? For my more realistic VisDare participants, this may help you flesh out that 150 word entry. 😉