“There was no doubt in my mind, I was going to work along side of my dad, my granddad, my uncles.”

George Lengel grew up in Roebling, New Jersey during the 1940s. Back then, it was a company town owned by the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company. Nearly every member of George’s family, including his mother and grandmother, worked in the steel and wire mills there.

The Lengel family helped produce wire rope that supported scores of suspension bridges — including the Golden Gate — and the original elevators in the Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building.

At StoryCorps, George remembered his childhood in Roebling, and one man who stood above all others in a town full of tough men — his father.

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George went on to become a history teacher; he taught in New Jersey public schools for 31 years before retiring.

Recorded in Trenton, New Jersey
Produced by Michael Garofalo
Facilitated by Virginia Lora
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Click here for the transcript.
In partnership with
New Jersey State Museum