Ever wonder how the GGB came to be that gorgeous orange color we all know and love? This Bridge Will Not be Gray, written by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Tucker Nichols, is the story of how the Golden Gate Bridge got its signature hue.
The story goes like this: The steel used in the Golden Gate Bridge was manufactured by Bethlehem Steel in several East Coast plants, and then shipped, via boat, to San Francisco. A sealant—a red-tinged orange paint—coated the steel to keep it safe from corrosion. One morning, Irving Morrow, the consulting architect for the bridge, was on a ferry in the Bay when he saw the rising orange steel towers on the horizon and he had an epiphany: the bridge should remain orange. A heated debate ensued, but eventually, the bridge was painted International Orange.
The story has long fascinated Eggers, so in 2014 he asked fellow Bay Area resident Tucker Nichols if he’d be interested in co-creating a children’s book about the bridge.
To illustrate the story, Nichols created simple cut-out paper illustrations using supplies from his San Rafael studio. “I thought it would be the least fussy way to create the book, almost like a very rudimentary layered flip book,” he told Fast Company.
At 110 pages, This Bridge Will Not be Gray is filled with fun illustrations and Egger’s witty prose, compelling for any kid or adult on your holiday gift list.