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About the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Movies:

We used 5 major computer programs, a Macintosh G4 with over a gigabyte of RAM (a lot for 1998), and two months, to stabilize and color correct the original newsreel footage of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. DVD, VHS video and other versions of the full film are available from the son of the photographer at:

The Camera Shop
1007 Pacific Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98402

On the Physics2000 CD we have an edited version of the Newsreel footage along with several clips showing in detail the oscillation of the bridge. Two of the oscillations clips in QuickTime are available for download.

The first, labeled Car-on-Bridge, is a close-up of the car on the rocking bridge. We stabilized the bridge towers so that you can clearly see the undulating motion of the roadway. Unfortunately there is a dog in the car. Professor Farquharson risked his life trying to rescue the dog, but the dog was so frightened by the motion of the car that he bit the professor and could not be rescued.

In the second clip, labeled Dogs-Eye-View, we stabilized the car so that you can see the rocking towers from the dog’s point of view. In terms of physics, going from car-on-bridge to the dogs-eye-view represents a transformation to an accelerated coordinate system. We do not often get to see such transformations in this vivid a context.

Download these movies and other free downloads above or from the Downloads page.


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