Den første Vaterlands bro ble reist i 1654. Dagens bro kom først i 1830, med senere justeringer. Ettersom vi kan ane skipsmaster med seil i bakgrunnen, later det til at motivet er sett fra øst mot vest, et sted mellom Vaterlands bro og der vi nå finner Hausmanns bro..
Dette er plansje nr. 52 i Boydells verk, og den er ledsaget av den følgende tekst:
The suburbs of Opsloe nearly join those of Christiania; the high road from Egeberg winding through them both, and passing round the head of the bay, and along the deal-yards, leads over this bridge into the east quarter of Christiania. It is the only way for carriages from the south of Norway, and for travellers from Sweden, Denmark, &c. &c. Unfortunately it does not enter the most prepossessing part of the city, the aspect of which, however, gradually improves, as you approach the great church.
The bridge, is handsomely and firmly built of stone having three arches, supported by strong abutments. The centre piers are well guarded by firm erections of wood, to protect them from being injured by the vast quantity of timber floating down to the yards. The flooring projects much on the sides, under which are kept the public ladders, and crooks, used in cases of fire. Above, is a firm double rail painted white. Below the bridge, on the left, the extensive deal-yards commence, and on the right side, the buildings of the city. The source of the river is about Eans Fiord, and near a small lake; there are several falls in its course which give motion to many saw-mills. On its silvery surface, are borne innumerable rafts and barges, laden with the best timber which Norway produces. The deals are assorted, and stacked in the yards below the bridge, and when properly seasoned, they are conveyed thence in barges, to the ships seen in the harbour below. The point where this view was taken, is situated a little way above the Bridge, at a place called Greenland. By the sides are a few prams, and in the middle is a barge, laden with several sorts of merchandise. On the shores, some women are seen washing in the river, and beating the water out of the clothes with a mallet, a method commonly practised by them instead of rubbing. The house, on the left hand, is a tolerable specimen of the secondary dwellings in the country, having a gallery around it, over which projects the roof, supported by upright posts. The structure rests at its four angles, on pillars of stone, three or four feet above the surface of the earth, to keep out vermin. In the inclement winters, the inhabitants close the apertures of the gallery, between the uprights, with boards, or more generally with branches of fir-trees, as an additional security against the cold northern blasts ; and at these seasons the houses present a singular feature in the landscape. A considerable traffic is carried on by the numerous shopkeepers, in the streets leading from this part of Christiania to the country, consequently the number of persons traversing this the only bridge, must amount to thousands daily, especially when it is recollected that the town contains a population of 10,000, exclusive of country dealers and visitors.