This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Tower Bridge

Learn about the man who often stopped the traffic but kept the river flowing.


Bridgemaster 1896-1930

Tower Bridge has chosen John Gass as its showcase object for London History Day as he held one of the best jobs in London - being in charge of Tower Bridge.

As the first Superintendent of Machinery and then Bridge Master at Tower Bridge, John Gass had a vital role in keeping the engines of Tower Bridge working so it could open for passing ships.

John Gass first started working at Tower Bridge as a foreman during its construction but stayed on after the work had finished to become the Superintendent of Machinery and later the Bridge Master. This meant that he was in charge of the state of the art machinery which opened Tower Bridge and helped make it a London icon.

John Gass wearing a bowler hat standing on Tower Bridge
John Gass, first Superintendent of Machinery and then Bridge Master at Tower Bridge © Avalon


Family activity day
10.30am - 4pm

Find out more about John's work at a family activity day in the original Tower Bridge Engine Rooms and make your own Bridgemaster hat to take home.

Free with admission. No booking necessary.


Tower Bridge Exhibition
Tower Bridge Road

Open 10am - 5.30pm

Plan your Tower Bridge visit

See more London History Day events


Graphic silhouette of Big Ben represented in green red and blue. Text reads: London History Day
Was this page helpful?