Located at the point where the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers meet, Pittsburgh is known as "the Steel City" or the "City of Bridges". Pennell shows the vast skyscrapers white against the dark smoky sky. The suspension bridge crosses at the river’s junction as a passing steamer blows billowing black smoke.
Using the omission and selection technique introduced by Haden, Pennell has created the impression of vastness by leaving the skyscrapers and rivers untouched. Ink frames the edge of the plate to give the composition a sense of completeness and to differentiate between the lighter areas of the river and sky, and the paper.