Biographical / Historical
 In 1846 the Niagara Falls International Bridge Company and the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company were formed to construct, maintain, and manage the affairs of a bridge connecting the United States and Canada over the Niagara Gorge. The Niagara Falls International Bridge Company formed the American component of the joint venture, and the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company formed the Canadian component. The companies were governed by a joint board and managed by elected presidents. A superintendent was employed for daily activities such as cash accounting, employee interaction, and bridge supervision. The first suspension bridge was built in 1848, but less than ten years later a stronger bridge was needed due to heavy traffic. John A. Roebling designed and oversaw construction of the Railway Suspension Bridge. The new bridge officially opened in 1855 and supported pedestrian, carriage, and train traffic. Increasing use and heavier loads warranted the construction of a bridge with higher load capacity. The Third Suspension Bridge was completed in 1885, under the direction of engineer Leffert L. Buck. The demand for a bridge capable of accommodating increasingly heavier loads and traffic led to the construction of the Lower Arch Bridge (sometimes referred to as the Steel Arch Bridge and renamed the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge in 1939). Once again, Leffert L. Buck designed and managed construction of the bridge, which was completed in 1897. The Lower Arch Bridge was built around the skeleton of the Third Suspension Bridge, without disrupting travel. The Lower Arch Bridge supported pedestrian and carriage traffic. A separate level carried train traffic, and the bridge companies maintained contractual relationships with various rail carriers, including the Grand Trunk Railway, Michigan Central Railroad, and the Canadian National Railway. This bridge is still in use today. George L. Burrows (1836-1921) was president of the Niagara Falls International Bridge Company from 1885 until his death, and was supported by Superintendent Thomas Reynolds for the majority of his tenure. During a portion of the time covered by this collection Charles Riordan was president of the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company, with J.H. Ingersoll acting as Secretary-Treasurer (and later president). The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission was created in 1938, and bought the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge in 1959. The Board of Commissioners consists of citizens of both the United States and Canada, and the main function of the organization is to oversee the management of the Whirlpool Rapids, Rainbow, and Lewiston-Queenston Bridges.
 In addition to sources from within the collection, historical information on the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, the Niagara Falls International Bridge Company and the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company was taken from:
Berketa, Rick. 2006. Bridges over Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls Thunder Alley. http://www.niagarafrontier.com/index.html (accessed 27 July 2006).
Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. 2006. Niagara Falls Bridge Commission. http://www.niagarafallsbridges.com/index.php3 (accessed 27 July 2006).