In this old postcard the San Francisco (San Francisco-Oakland) Bay Bridge is noted as the longest bridge in the world. It is not that any longer (pun intended). At a website titled Ten Longest Bridges of the World (includes great photos of the ten in its list), #1 is listed as Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, aka The Causeway. However, at another site (with a fantastic name, I might add!) --
THE LONGEST LIST OF THE LONGEST STUFF AT THE LONGEST DOMAIN NAME AT LONG LAST --
Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge comes in at #2, with the Akashi Kaykio Bridge in Kobe, Japan, given the #1 slot because the "general rule for judging the longest bridge is the length of the span" and The Causeway is supported by 9500 pilings. Even so, The Causeway is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest bridge. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge has its own website here, complete with traffic advisory.
See marvelous photos of the construction of the Bay Bridge at the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge website (go to the Bay Bridge main page for extensive information, including about current closures and repair). The following is beginning text at the history section of the website:
In 1936, the East and West communities of the Bay Area came together like never before. While ferries had long carried people across the Bay's often choppy waters, automobiles were the future of transportation. This meant local residents wanted a quick way to drive between the rapidly growing cities of San Francisco and Oakland. As expected, as soon as the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was built in 1936, it immediately became the favorite way to travel between San Francisco and the East Bay.
Cynics believed that the bridge would be impossible to build due to the potential impact of turbulent waters and gusty winds. Engineers had assumed that the area's high winds posed a greater threat than earthquakes, despite the bridge's proximity to two major fault lines. The varying soils and water depths, the inaccessibility to bedrock, and the unique design challenges inherent in developing a bridge to span eight miles across the Bay led some to believe that building such a bridge was unthinkable.
The largest and most expensive bridge of its time, the Bay Bridge faced not just natural obstacles, but political hurdles as well. There had been discussion of building a bridge between San Francisco and Oakland since the 1870s, but construction did not move forward until the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, with support from President Herbert Hoover, agreed to purchase bonds to be repaid later with bridge tolls.
As troublesome as recent circumstances have been for the Bay Bridge, back in 1936 its grand opening was cause for immense pride and celebration. My grandmother Nellie, living in Oakland at the time, saved (in her cedar chest now in my possession) the special section published by the Oakland-Tribune to remember the excitement of the day.
More stats and information about bridges at The Bridge Site.