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http://www.hellenicaworld.com/UK/Literature/EdmundSharpe/en/images/i_073.jpg

from ArchDaily

AD Classics: The Brooklyn Bridge / John Roebling

Plan for the East Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge (then the "East River Bridge") completed in Massive "caissons" -- watertight wooden boxes sunk to the river floor and pumped full of pressurized air -- were used to build the foundations.