Eugenius Outerbridge and his Bridge to Somewhere

If you have previously followed this blog, you know we have special fondness for the name Outerbridge. It is of course, the first name of seven generations of Horseys, a great American family with perhaps the greatest American name.

Today, we profile another Outerbridge. A man who puts the “genius” in Eugenius, Eugenius Harvey Outerbridge. We could call him Eugenius Outerbridge I, but disappointingly he did not appear to name any of his children after himself so this may be superfluous. Then again, superfluous is not a dirty word around here, so let’s go with it.

A common theory around here suggests great people with great names often have great facial hair. Mr. Outerbridge is no exception.

A common theory around here suggests great people with great names often have great facial hair. Mr. Outerbridge is no exception.

Mr. Outerbridge was a notable businessman in the East Coast of the early 1900s, as well as the first chairman of the New York Port Authority. His Agasote Millboard Company was one of the premier producers of fiberboard of the time, and invented a specific type of material called homasote, which is still being manufactured in New Jersey to this day. In case you’re not familiar with building materials, homasote is a thingiemajig used in many things, apparently including usage as “blocking knit or crochet pieces”. I will let our large crochet enthusiast following elaborate on this use below the line.

Eugenius also had an interesting family. His sister Mary Ewing Outerbridge was a founder of American Lawn Tennis in 1874, which developed into modern tennis. You could therefore say that Mary Outerbridge invented tennis, which is totally baller. His other siblings included August Emelio Outerbridge, Harriet Harvey Outerbridge, and Adolph Outerbridge, proving that his parents definitely had this naming thing down.

It's great there's a bridge named after him and all, but this one appears to have a slight design flaw...

The Outerbridge Bridge. 

His name lives on today not just in the hearts and minds of fiberboard fanatics everywhere, but also with people who take the drive between Staten Island in New York and Perth Amboy, New Jersey on the Outerbridge Crossing, a bridge named after the local industrialist and today’s Funny Names Blog hero. In his day people might have gone around saying “don’t cross Outerbridge or he’ll cross you”, but times have changed and ordinary commuters do just that all day long now. So it goes.

Let’s all yelp out three Outerbridges in his honor. Outerbridge, Outerbridge, Outerbridge! Yeehaw.

About Arto

Co-founder of the Funny Names Blog, Hawaiian shirt enthusiast, and holder of a funny name himself with too many vowels for any sensible person. Currently residing in San Diego, California, scouring through obscure documents on a hunt for more funny names.
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17 Responses to Eugenius Outerbridge and his Bridge to Somewhere

  1. marksackler says:

    Hey, I was recently wondering about the origin of that bridge name! I even crossed it once hoping it would be a shortcut home to Connecticut from Northern New Jersey. It wasn’t. You gotta go through Staten Island, Brooklyn AND the Bronx to get to the other side of the city. It actually left me wishing I had taken the GW Bridge–not an easy thing to accomplish. Enjoy the name but avoid the bridge!

  2. wdydfae says:

    More BoFN brilliance, with bridges!

    I’ve been trying real hard to get an “Outerbridge over Troubled Water” thing going, but absolutely nothing’s coming together with the lyrics. And I was really trying.

    Maybe you could do a follow up “Outerbridges of Madison County”? Or how about “Outerbridge on the River Kwai”? But perhaps I’ve gone “An Outerbridge Too Far” with this idea?

    • Arto says:

      Never Outerbridge Too Far in this comment section, Did. Never. And if we ever feel like it’s approaching that moment, then….well, we’ll cross that Outerbridge when we come to it.

  3. ksbeth says:

    as my mother always said, ‘we’ll cross that outerbridge when we come to it.’

  4. Dave says:

    Oh my goodness! Outerbridge! This makes me so happy. And the fact that he had “genius” in his name is even more awesome!

  5. I always enjoy visiting new Outerbridges.

  6. How bout this fer a start…

    When yer an Outerbridge
    When that is yer name
    Some folks might think
    That’s kind’a lame

    But hold yer head high
    Oh and wear it proud
    ‘Cause you’ve got lots of fans

    Outerbridge, whether
    Eugenious or Horsey,
    Yer Kings of Funny Names
    (repeat last line)

  7. Liz says:

    yes to yeehaw. We owe those Outerbridges so very much. No, not superfluous at all. Harriet Harvey? Hmmmm….

    You’re on a roll, Arto. Are you joining in with amb to take over the Internet? Or at least BoFN?

    p.s. I have a cold right now and it’s all about the Hankybook.

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