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NARROWS, a strait connecting the upper and lower New York Bays, was entered by the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524, and first shown on a map made by the Italian scholar Giambattista Ramusio in 1556. It was fortified about 1710, and more strongly for the War of 1812, providing for an effective defense of New York Harbor. A semaphore telegraph, to announce the sighting of vessels, was erected there in 1812. In 1964 the Narrows were spanned by the world's longest suspension bridge (4,260 feet), the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.


Stokes, Isaac Newton Phelps. The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498–1909. New York: Arno Press, 1967.

Alvin F.Harlow/d. b.

See alsoBridges ; New York City ; War of 1812 .