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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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  1. I would suspect that cabin side gunnels were introduced with steam power, where it would be necessary to get from the stern to the boiler easily, and without upsetting anyone asleep in the cabin, where they were grabbing a little rest when working the long hours possible with steam power. On torsional movement, it could be seen as beneficial with wooden boats as it helped to work the caulking in the seams. A little such movement certainly tended to make my old wooden boat more water-tight, though too much could have the opposite effect.
  2. The idea dates back to the end of the 18th century, with a simplistic plan published by Hibbard in 1796.
  3. I wonder if the Clean Air Act has resulted in increased vegetation, remembering back to the days when any snow would have a nice black sooty crust.
  4. The main summit level embankment on Ludwig's Canal in Bavaria had its slopes planted with fruit trees, while the Canal du Midi may have had trees planted along its banks about 100 years after it first opened, but does not seem to have any planted on embankment slopes.
  5. How about using engine size/power as was done on the roads in the 1930s? High powered engines can certainly do more damage to the canal infrastructure than low powered ones, and a single horse power 'engine' could be best of all.
  6. Foulridge was always a bonus when I worked my boat single handed as you just let it enter the tunnel and could then go into the cabin to make a brew and something to eat without slowing down. I have also towed boats on the L&LC single-handed without problem, with a bucket tied to a rope fixed to the back of the towed boat, though there were fewer boats on the canal then.
  7. The two Henrichenburg and the single Rothensee lifts all used floatation tanks as the stability of the foundations was uncertain, because of mining for Henrichenburg, and as it was built on the Elbe flood plain for Rothensee. There have been more recent designs for encased tanks, such as proposed on the Somerset Coal Canal which were more realistic. Another similar scheme was for an inclined tunnel carrying a canal through the Alps, with boats moved on a wedge of water, as per the two inclines at Fonserannes and Montech, but completely within the tunnel.
  8. This was the standard type of drain plug used on the L&LC. It was easy to fit onto the wooden culverts which were often used for small water passages under the canal, but would need some form of connection between the frame and the culvert for more recent culvert designs. There is water pressure to overcome when opening, as this one has a winch fitted to the towpath wall to open it. The chain would be long enough to reach the towpath wall, where it could easily be retrieved, and a rope extension fitted which would then be wound around the winch. Such a system should be fairly cheap to install, and be difficult to vandalise, especially if the winch was made removable. Once fitted, it can be virtually ignored, unlike modern valves which need opening and closing routinely to ensure their operation.
  9. Railway signalling bell codes always amused me as they stated that the code for a Train included a Light Engine, ie an engine without a train.
  10. The moorings are on the old Briars Mill maintenance yard, the local canal engineer living in the house. The boats were mored next to shelter where the inspection boat Waterwitch used to be kept, as seen in this 1973 newspaper report.
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  12. Compartment boats being built for the GUC on Feb. 10th 1933, in the plating shop at Messrs. Peter Brotherhoods Works' showing 4 compartment boats in final stage of construction. Leader boat can be seen lying on one side. Photo from Waterways Archive, BW192/3/2/1/1/17.
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