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Pluto

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Pluto last won the day on July 12 2011

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    European inland waterway history, including the transfer of technology during the early industrial revolution; wooden boat construction on inland waterways; the history of opening bridges; and the L&LC.

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    industrial historian
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    Pluto

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  1. This post cannot be displayed because it is in a forum which requires at least 10 posts to view.
  2. This map shows the canal system on the main Solovki Island. The navigable part of the system was originally canals K2 to K8, with canals K9 to K11 added when the hydro-electric station was built next to the Kremlin circa 1910.
  3. Two more photos, the first of the monastery in mid-April before the ice broke up. The second was taken from the train on the way north, and shows one of the timber wharfs on the White Sea Canal. The canal linked several lakes, and was supposed to be large enough for small naval vessels. Timber - Stalin's green gold - was carried or rafted on the canal, with much of it on its way to America. Gorky wrote a book about the construction of the canal, and when I was there you could still buy Belomorskkanal cigarettes which had originally been supplied to the prisoners building the canal. A diet of vodka was probably required if you smoked them.
  4. The extension of the Solovki canals c1910, when a new reservoir was required for the new Hydro-electric power station. These canals were also used for moving timber. The photo is from the Library of Congress digital collection. The second photo is of the remains of the English steam launch.
  5. In 2005, I made my third visit to the Solovki Islands, located in the White Sea, north of Archangel. The Russian Orthodox Church had set up a fortified monastery there in the 16th century, and the monks had developed a canal system on the main island for water supply, irrigation, water power, and finally for transport. It is the most northerly canal system in the world, with about 6 or 7 miles of canal. During the 1920s, the monastery became the first Gulag, with prisoners being sent from the island to work on the Baltic-White Sea Canal. During the 2WW, the island became a naval base, continuing as such until just prior to the end of the 20th century. It has been returned to the church, but is also a World Heritage Site. The first photo shows the monastery, with the entrance to the drydock on the right. The second shows one of the canals, on which visitors can hire rowing boats. I was with a group of Russian historians looking at the development of technology on the islands, here, in the distance, inspecting the remains of a turn bridge over the canal. The monks had a British-built steam launch, the hull of which still survives.
  6. I have found examples in the Manchester newspapers around the time the Ship Canal was being promoted, including this one recalling the 1827 proposal for a ship canal.
  7. The round-topped towpath wall, rising upwards to the left, is all that remains of the bridge over the entrance to the Rain Hall Quarry branch at Barnoldswick. The first section of the quarry is below thew trees on the right. The second photo shows the end section of the quarry being filled in 1986. The branch joined the canal after passing alongside the left of the weaving shed top left.
  8. 1972 was the last year Charlie worked Lapwing on a regular basis, and I looked after the bar for most of that year. Several of the Anderton boats were still lived on by boat families at the time, not just Jack Tolley.
  9. The properties of lime mortar depend upon where the lime was obtained. Limestone is not a uniform substance, and its properties vary from quarry to quarry. Rennie's notebooks, held by the National Library of Scotland, give such properties for a number of quarries, often those near to where Rennie was working. Some limestones create hydraulic limes, capable of hardening when water is present. The following are notes I wrote ten years ago regarding hydraulic lime. I suspect there is still much to learn about lime mortars. The use of naturally-occurring hydraulic lime was well established by the eighteenth century. With regard to Eastern Europe, the English engineer, Captain Perry, worked on canals in Russia around 1700, and had previously learnt about hydraulic lime from Dutch engineers. Later, the Dutchman Devollant was in charge of engineering in Russia where he was also involved in canal construction. One problem with researching lime during this period is that terminology is very inexact. It is sometimes difficult to decide what is natural hydraulic lime and what is manufactured. The development of manufactured Portland type cements, capable of hardening in wet conditions, took place over many years. Joseph Moxon noted that lime heated up with the addition of water in 1678. The first scientific investigations were probably undertaken by John Smeaton, during his construction of Eddystone lighthouse in the 1750s/60s, and he continued experimenting with calcining mixtures of lime and clay into the 1790s. In 1796, James Parker had patented a type of hydraulic cement, with similar ideas developing in France post-1800. It was there that Vicat undertook further experiments from 1812, and he published his results in 1818. It was in France in the period up to 1824, that many others followed Vicat's work, such as Descotils, Dumas, Petot, St Leger, Sgauzin, Charlesville and Berthier. Hydraulic lime was well-known, and used extensively in the construction of the Canal Saint Martin and the Canal Saint Maur in Paris in the late 1820s. Also, in 1824, Joseph Aspdin, from Leeds, England, patented his artificial lime which he called Portland Cement. It was used by I K Brunel to staunch a breach during the construction of the Thames Tunnel in 1828. The research into manufactured hydraulic lime centred around the mixing of suitable clay with lime, and then to calcine and crush the resulting mixture, as can be seen from the Augustowski Canal paper. Joseph Aspdin's British Patent specifies: My method of making a cement or artificial stone for stuccoing buildings, waterworks, cisterns, or any other purpose to which it may be applicable (and which I call Portland cement) is as follows:- I take a specific quantity of limestone, such as that generally used for making or repairing roads, and I take it from the roads after it is reduced to a puddle or powder; but if I cannot procure a sufficient quantity of the above from the roads, I obtain the limestone itself, and I cause the puddle or powder, or the limestone, as the case may be, to be calcined. I then take a specific quantity of argillaceous earth or clay, and mix them with water to a state approaching impalpability, either by manual labour or machinery. After this proceeding I put the above mixture into a slip pan for evaporation, either by heat of the sun or by submitting it to the action of fire or steam conveyed in flues or pipe under or near the pan till the water is entirely evaporated. Then I brake the said mixture into suitable lumps and calcine them in a furnace similar to a lime kiln till the carbonic acid is entirely expelled. The mixture so calcined is to be ground, beat, or rolled to a fine powder, and is then in a fit state for making cement or artificial stone. This powder is to be mixed with a sufficient quantity of water to bring it into the consistency of mortar, and thus applied to the purposes wanted. In witness whereof, I, the said Joseph Aspdin, have hereunto set my hand seal, this Fifteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred and twenty-four. The basic idea does seem similar to what happened in Poland. However, it did take some time for Aspdin's cement to become established. Initially based in Yorkshire, the business only really took off after his son, William, built a new plant in Kent in 1842, where a large part of the English industry is still based. William subsequently worked in Germany from 1853. Because of the extensive research into hydraulic lime undertaken in France, it is interesting to note the French influence on the construction of the Augustowski Canal. For example, General Malletski was a French military engineer who had settled in the Duchy of Warsaw and became the Director of the Engineering Corps, and Henry Rossman had served in the French army. There was also considerable French influence on Russian engineering training at that time. Four French engineers had been in Russia during the Napoleonic Wars, and had settled there afterwards. Augustin de Béthancourt became Inspector General of Engineers around 1818, and took over the main engineering administration in 1819. With French engineers in senior posts in both Poland and Russia, it would be unlikely that they did not keep abreast of the latest French developments and publications, and would have read Vicat's book. With regard to similar structures erected at the same time, I have not found any further details regarding the Saint Martin and Saint Maur Canals other than a brief mention of the extensive use of hydraulic cement during their construction. There are two contemporary books: Description du canal de Saint Denis and Saint Martin, R E de Villiers, 1826, and Nouvelles observations sur le canal Saint Martin, Pierre Girard, 1821, but I have not been able to see copies. There is also an article in the Ponts et Chausées of 1832 by Beaudemoulin, Béton dans les fondations d'écluses, which may throw further light on the subject. Further details regarding history can be found in: The Cement Industry 1796-1914, A J Francis, ISBN 0715373862. A chronology for hydraulic lime/cement, 1750-1850. 1753, Semple uses a concrete for the foundations of a bridge over the Liffey, Dublin. 1756, Smeaton uses hydraulic lime for the construction of Eddystone lighthouse. 1793, Smeaton publishes papers on his hydraulic lime experiments. 1796, James Parker patents his process for making hydraulic cement in England. 1818, Vicat published his book on lime. 1818, Maurice St.Leger patents his process for making hydraulic lime in America. 1818, Dr John, of Berlin, publishes memoir on hydraulic lime. c1820, used for constructing Toulon harbour. 1822, Berthier publishes analysis of different limestones. 1822, Raucourt publishes experiments on limestones in St Petersburg. 1822, used on the construction of the Erie Canal, America. 1824, Vicat completes the first concrete bridge at Souillac, France. 1824, used on the construction of the Saint Martin and Saint Maur Canal, Paris. 1824, Joseph Aspdin patents his process for hydraulic lime in England. 1825, Hassenfratz publishes memoir on mortar. 1828, Brunel uses hydraulic lime to repair the Thames Tunnel. 1850s, used extensively on the London sewerage system. The Eddystone lighthouse was probably the most influential structure to use hydraulic lime in the early period. Smeaton is regarded as the first professional civil engineer, and he published his work widely. Vicat's bridge over the Dordogne at Souillac is still standing, and as such is another important marker in the development of hydraulic lime and cement. There is probably little left of any historic use of hydraulic lime on the Erie Canal as it has been completely rebuilt, and the same is probably correct for the Canal Saint Martin. The Thames Tunnel still survives, but is not accessible to the public. There are certainly more structures from this period which used hydraulic lime, but they are probably difficult to identify. The success of hydraulic lime was still in doubt, and many engineers continued to use more traditional methods with mortars.
  10. It was, the 1790 edition. I have found several early canal songs/poems via Googlebooks, such as 'The New Navigation or Stroud-water Triumphant' of 1776, and 'Sabbath Breaking on the Canal' of 1820. Here is another from 1922: From the Canals and Waterways Journal, February 1922 "How We Saved the Barge" Written by Arthur Helliar and composed by Cuthbert Clarke. Performed by Bransby Williams. Printed by permission of Messrs. Reynolds and Co., 62a, Berners Street, London, W1, who publish this recitation as a musical monologue. I'm a Captain, that's what I am, Sir, a nautical man by trade, Though I ain't tricked out in a uniform with buttons of gold and braid. I ain't the Captain it's true of one of these floating grand hotels,— It's true as I ain't the skipper of one of these Clacton or Yarmouth Belles. I'm the Captain of this ere barge, Sir, wot's known as the "Slimy Sal," And a faster boat there ain't on the length or breadth of the whole canal. Though I'll own so far as the breadth's concerned that ain't much praise o' course And the number of knots an hour she makes has summat to do with the horse. Have I ever had any adventures, the same as one meets at sea? I should rather just think as I 'ave, Sir, not one, but a dozen may be. I f it wasn't as 'ow my throat's so dry as to almost stop my breath I'd tell yer the way as the missis and me was snatched from the jaws of death. Her courage it was too as saved us, 'er courage what pulled us through Or I wouldn't be standing here thirsty, …well thank'ee, don't mind if I do. One morning, some two or three weeks ago, our cargo had all been stowed, We'd 80 odd tons of coal aboard which o' course was a fairish load,— We'd got a new 'orse that day, Sir, too good for the job a lot, He'd once been a Derby winner, though 'is name I've clean forgot. He was standing harnessed on to the barge, the missis and I was aboard, When all of a sudden we feels a jerk and he starts of his own accord. Something or other had startled him, what it was I never could think Though I fancy he'd 'eard some gent like you wot 'ad offered to stand me a drink. I flew like a flash to the rudder, and I pushes it hard a-lee, And the missis 'ad 'oisted a flag of distress to the chimbly, I could see. We 'adn't a fog'orn or whistle aboard, but the missis she yells like two, But the louder she screamed out " Clear the course." the faster the old 'orse flew . He thought he was back in the days gone by, a-winning some famous race, 'Twas a race with Death for the missis and me at that awful 'eadlong pace. 'Ouses and trees went flying by — a mighty splash and a shock — And we'd passed bang through, without paying too, the closed-up gates of a lock. Just then when we'd whizzed through a tunnel she yells from the lower deck And says "If that 'orse ain't pulled up pretty quick, I can see as we're in for a wreck We only got thirty or forty miles till we gets to the end of the course It's a case of which 'olds out the longest — the bloomin' canal or the horse." But before I tells 'ow we was saved, Sir, there's one thing I'd like yer to know, My missis was once in a circus, as a hartist I mean, years ago, She used to perform on the tight-rope and wonderful tricks too she done, But of course, that's all finished and over her weight being seventeen stun. Then she comes on the deck where I stood, Sir, and I sees a gleam come in her eye She says "It's a chance in a thousand, but it's one as I'm willing to try. The 'eadlong career of the 'orse must be stopped, it's our last and our only hope. There's only one way to get at 'im, I must walk to his back on the rope." She gives me one farewell 'ug Sir, takes an oar for a pole in 'er hands Then smiling, as tho' in a circus, on the tow-rope a second she stands. I closed both my eyes after that, Sir for the sight would a made me unnerved For a 'orrible death 'twould 'ave meant for 'er if the barge for a moment had swerved. But I opens 'em wide in a moment for I 'ears a loud kind of a crack And I sees that theer 'orse all collapse in a 'eap, for the missis 'ad broken 'is back. As soon as the crisis was over, on the deck in a swoon, Sir, I dropped, But the barge went on for a mile and a arf on its lonesome afore it was stopped, Why didn't we cut thro' the rope, Sir, and 'ave let the 'orse loose instead? Just fancy you thinking o' that now, why it never came into my 'ead!!
  11. I do sometimes find it difficult to look positively on our listing system, but hydraulic paddles are part of the history of some canal locks, and reflect the thinking about canals by BW at the time they were installed. The real question which should be asked is what we are trying to conserve. On the L&LC, I have suggested that some locks are conserved as they were at a specific date so that people can understand the changes, such as the introduction of upper gate paddles to speed traffic when railway competition began. On the L&LC, there are also differences in the paddle gear used by different workshops along the canal.
  12. If you got there before 6-00am, you could go with them for a trip.
  13. Of course, the first Sulzer to be used in a canal boat was on the L&LC in 1905.
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