When the Williamsburg Bridge was built in 1903, Jewish immigrants spilled in from the Lower East Side. So much so, it was called “The Jew’s Bridge.” This migration across the river greatly attributed to the settlement of Williamsburg by orthodox Jews, and set the stage for Hasidim from Hungary and surrounding areas to settle there too when they came to America, seeking a religious environment to rebuild after the holocaust.
“The bridge’s opening caused a flood of migration. A mass of Williamsburg’s former Irish and German population (who called the area “Kleine Deutschland,” Little Germany) moved to Queens when Jewish immigrants from the Lower East Side moved in. The Williamsburg Bridge became known as the “Jews’ Bridge”. (Brooklyn Ink)
Image: bridge in 1902 during construction. Wikimedia Commons
Here’s a silent black and white video of the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge. Everyone wore hats, and almost everyone was male!