Category Archives: Extant waterways

Longships

The early impact of the steamship was greatest within the technological and economic heartlands of Europe and North America. Glasgow saw one service every ten minutes in the 1830s, while a regular service between Vienna and Budapest, inaugurated in 1826 and taken over in 1829 by the famous Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft (one of the longest words in the German language), had a fleet of seventy-one ships by 1850 for a trip lasting roughly fourteen hours.

Jürgen Osterhammel The Transformation of the World: a global history of the nineteenth century Princeton University Press 2009, English translation by Patrick Camiller 2014

According to Wikipedia,

Since the German spelling reform of 1996, “Schifffahrt” is written with three “f”s; however, since the name belongs to a company that existed before the spelling reform, the old form of the name is used when referring to the company.

The name of the company is well known in German-speaking countries as a starter to humorously construct even longer compound words. Donau­dampf­schiffahrts­gesellschafts­kapitäns­mütze is such a word, which potentially might even have been used, but probably never actually was. It means a “DDSG captain’s hat”. Another common example is Donau­dampf­schiffahrts­gesellschafts­kapitäns­kajüten­schlüssel which means “DDSG captain’s cabin key”.

Happily, abbreviations have now been invented.

 

Grand Canal 1829

Grand Canal Lumber and Parcel Boats

Safe and expeditious carriage by land and water in four days

5, Grand Canal Harbour, James’s-street

Messrs Maher and Adamson beg leave to inform their Friends and the Public, that they have now made arrangements for plying Two Boats a Week to and from Dublin and Ballinasloe; they pledge themselves for the safe arrival of every article committed to their care.

Gillen Bridge

They have stores at Dublin, Tullamore, Gillen, and Ballinasloe, where careful Agents attend to receive and to forward Goods to their respective destinations. Their Boats are new, and drawn by two horses each, their own property; they retain no person in their establishment but men of tried honesty, sobriety, and diligence.

The Proprietors, for the satisfaction and accommodation of their Customers, have provided drays with large tarpaulen covers, and will insure the safe delivery of any goods committed to their care, at the regular price charged in each place per mile or per cwt. Loughrea, Gort, Galway, Eyrecourt, Birr, Banagher, Tuam, Moate, Kilbeggan, or any of the neighbouring places.

A Boat will leave Dublin on Wednesdays and Saturdays at Ten o’clock, AM: loaded or not the Proprietors pledge themselves to be punctual to the day and hour.

Dublin Evening Post 17 March 1829

Some interesting points

We don’t have much information about canal carriers in the early years of the Grand Canal, so this is a useful snippet. The use of two horses is interesting: I wonder whether the extra cost paid off. And here is more evidence of the former glory of Gillan or Gallen, which was also a stop on the coach-routes. What is now the R437, from Frankford/Kilcormac north through the bogs to Ferbane, seems to have been more important than what is now the N62.

Blanchardstown Mills

County Dublin: a bleach and flour mill

To be sold or let for such term as may be agreed upon, a Plot of Ground, on the north side of the Royal Canal, adjoining the 12th Lock, containing 1 acre 1 rood [illegible] on which a considerable sum of Money has been expended in erecting a Bleach and Flour Mill, together with the waste and superfluous water at the 12th Lock on the Royal Canal, which gives an inexhaustible supply of water in the dryest season to the Mill, which, in every respect, is well circumstanced for a Manufactory or Flour Mill.

These Concerns lie immediately adjoining the Canal Bridge, on the new road leading to Blanchers-town [sic] at the 12th Lock, about three miles from the City of Dublin.

There is a person on the premises who will show them, and proposals in writing will be received by Henry Cosgrave, Esq, No 64, Eccles street.

Dublin Mercantile Advertiser, and Weekly Price Current 31 July 1826

Mills on the Barrow

Mill sites — Ireland

The Directors of the Barrow Navigation Company will receive Proposals for the several unoccupied Falls on their line of Navigation. These falls are from five to ten feet, with a constant and powerful supply of water; and, from some of the large Establishments now on the line of Navigation, a fair estimate may be formed of their value.

The River Barrow joins the Grand Canal at Athy, 32 miles from Dublin, from whence there is a navigation to Dublin capable of carrying Boats of 50 tons burden, and the River Barrow is navigable from Athy to the Sea-ports of Ross and Waterford, between which places there is a constant and extensive communication for 20 miles of its length.

The River Barrow is not above 10 miles of its length from any part of the extensive Collieries, known by the name of the Kilkenny Collieries, and only three miles from some parts of them, and the country intersected with good Roads. There are several Towns situated on the River adjoining the Falls, `with a superabundant well-disposed Population, only wanting employment. The country is well inhabited, the soil fertile, the climate mild, the River not being frozen over once in ten years.

Any further particulars may be learned by application to the Company’s Acting Secretary, E S Hunt; and Messrs Latouche, Dublin, if by letter, post paid.

Dublin Mercantile Advertiser, and Weekly Price Current 13 June 1825

Guards by boat

The first battalion Grenadier Guards, upwards of 700 strong, commanded by Lieut-Col Barclay, arrived here on Thursday last, from Dublin, and have since proceeded by canal, in Messrs Pickford’s fly-boats, to London.

Gore’s Liverpool General Advertiser
14 August 1823

New header pic 1 June 2020

Granny, on the Suir above Waterford, at dusk

New header pic 16 May 2020

Early steamer in Dublin 1820s

Barges …

… in Bangladesh. And passenger boats too.

Killaloe eels

A new export from Ireland

The banks of the Shannon, says the Limerick Chronicle, are inexhaustible in providing sustenance, not only for the natives, but our constant customer, John Bull. Salmon has for some time been an article of profitable export to the English market; but what will the public think of that cheaper and more abundant dainty — eels?

There are 10 tons of this prolific fish now in tanks at Killaloe, awaiting a conveyance to London; and a vessel adapted for the trade will take on board from this port in the ensuing week 40 tons of eels for the London Market.

Ipswich Journal 26 October 1844

While you’ve nothing else to do …

I came across a quiz I compiled in 2004 for the Athy Water Festival. Q6 no longer applies and I can’t guarantee that all of the others are still true, but here is it anyway.

  1. What is the taste of the town where a doleful damsel laments her armless boneless chickenless egg?
  2. What armless legless Barrow man did not have to be put out with a bowl to beg but was an enlightened landlord, “a Member of Parliament, Lord Lieutenant of the County Carlow, Member of the Privy Council of Ireland, magistrate, world traveller, yachtsman, sometime dispatch rider in the East India service, crack shot, keen fisherman” and  “a terror with the ladies”?
  3. What are the names of the aqueducts immediately above and below Vicarstown?
  4. What is the only Barrow lock with no corresponding weir?
  5. Where did the now-derelict canal branch from Monasterevan go to?
  6. What beer is named after a Barrow saint? [Carlow Brewing Company used to have a red ale named St Moling’s]
  7. How many bollards are there on each side of Lock 28 on the Barrow Line? [Maybe the number has changed since 2004]
  8. What is the name of the double lock on the Barrow?
  9. “A swan goes by head low with many apologies
    Fantastic light looks through the eyes of bridges
    And look! a barge comes bringing from Athy
    And other far-flung towns mythologies.” Said who?
  10. What two rivers enter the Barrow between Maganey and Bestfield Locks?

Tie-breaker: (a) Who composed “Five Locks on the Barrow”? (b) What are the five locks?

Leave your answers in the Comments below (if you like).