Presents the untold history and development of Chicago’s iconic bridges, from the first wood footbridge built by a tavern owner in 1832 to the fantastic marvels of steel . . .

Chicago River Bridges

The PTM Werks children's book series is designed to introduces kids, in a fun way, to STEM topics by answering the "why" questions

Children's Books

 they often have about the machines all around us, that most adults struggle to answer completely.

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Checkout the book trailer for Drawbridges Open and Close. This short video (2:30) filmed at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum provides a peek inside the children's book Drawbridges Open and Close.

Listen to Rick Kogan's interview of Patrick McBriarty on WGN's Radio program After Hours with Rick Kogan from June 29, 2014.

Watch the ABC 7 Chicago News segment from which includes two spots of Patrick McBriarty describing the importance of the Michigan Avenue Bridge on May 14, 2014.

Member of the following writer and trade associations:

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

Latest Werks

The new children's picture book Drawbridges Open and Closeshows the behind-the-scenes, controls, locks, gears and steps to reveal how a drawbridge operates.  Published by CurlyQ Press (Oct. 2014) and soon followed by Airplanes Take off and Land (early 2015) and Crosstown Trains Stop and Go (early 2016), and distributed by Ingram Books and Applewood Books.  ​Drawbridges Open and Close beautifully illustrated by Johanna H. Kim, presents a fanciful world of animal characters, vehicles and watercraft and begins with Tugboat Captain Josie (a kangaroo) owing a big barge and needs the Narrows Drawbridge to open.  Bridge Tender Todd (the fox) and his sidekick Ponticat respond by following six steps to safely open the drawbridge.

Autographed copies are available for sale below -OR- at one of the many author appearances listed on the Talks & Events page, finer bookstores, Barnes and Noble, and where every review thus far gives the book 4- or 5-Stars.  Kids enjoy reading this book over and over again.  What a great gift for birthdays or holidays to share with someone you love!

Chicago Drawbridges chronicles the importance of the bridges to the development of the Windy City from the very first wood footbridge to the iconic mechanical, steel, and concrete structures crossing the Chicago River today.  Includes 57-minute documentary plus 100-minutes of special features.

Chicago Drawbridges (DVD)


Chicago River Bridges presents the untold history and development of Chicago’s iconic bridges to become the Drawbridge Capital of the World, and is a photographic guidebook to Chicago’s amazing moveable bridges.

Chicago River Bridges (printed book)


Drawbridges Open and Close by Patrick McBriarty and playfully illustrated by Johanna Kim presents a day in the life of Bridge Tender Todd and his sidekick Ponticat to learn about the inner workings, steps, and checks to safely open and close a drawbridge.

Drawbridges Open and Close (printed book)


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The Creative Werks of Patrick T. McBriarty

Patrick T. McBriarty a former business person began writing and creating over a decade ago and is now pursuing a second career as an author and historian.  It started with a fascination for the development and design of Chicago's bridges and evolved into creating his first book and documentary, and now a children series.  The core of it is an enthusiasm for learning, research, and creating history to share and for kids introduce a fascination for how things work in an informative, fun, and entertaining way.


Bridges of All Kinds is about big, small, red, steel, railroad, and all kinds of bridges from across the world. This book of over 50 photographs will amaze and delight children and adults alike.

Bridges of All Kinds(printed book)


Chicago River Bridges receives high praise from the UK trade magazine

Bridge Design & Engineering.