are man made waterways. They were built during the
Industrial Revolution to allow industrialists to move
large quantities of raw materials and goods to and
from their factories.
canal has several big advantages over using roads.
(Remember that roads at the time were not as good
as they are nowadays).
a boat, or barge, on a canal is not going to have
a bumpy journey so fragile goods are much less likely
to smash on route. Secondly a canal barge is much
larger than a horse drawn wagon and so it can be used
to carry much more than wagons on Turnpike roads could
be expected to. The third major advantage of canals
is that, once they are built, they are very cheap
to use. If a barge can carry 50 tonnes of coal and
it only takes two men to look after the barge consider
how much has been saved in wages if the largest wagon
on the road could only carry 2 tonnes. There's also
less breakage so the factory has more goods to sell.
soon realised that Canals were a very good idea and
invested heavily in the construction of this new form
of transport. By the end of 'canal mania' it was just
about possible to use inland waterways to get goods
from most cities to any of the major ports.
engineers who designed Canals were very capable men.
One of the basic problems with using water for transport
purposes is that water doesn't go up and down hills
in the way that roads can. Britain, particularly the
north of England where much of the industrialisation
was happening, isn't a very flat place. A solution
had to be found, how can you go up and down hills
on a canal? The answer was to use locks.
a system of gates on a hill the canal builder could
create a system where-by the people working the barge
could open and shut gates in the order demonstrated
above to move the barge uphill. Locks such as these
can still be seen today and are a feature of all British
canals. The most famous example of locks in Britain
being the 'Five Rise locks' in Bingley, West Yorkshire.
here there are 5 locks in quick succession to allow
a barge to make a steep climb up a hill. (There is
also a smaller 3 rise lock not so far away from this
engineering masterpiece, showing how 'hilly' the area
were powered initially by horses. A tow path can be
found on one side of all canals. This was for the
horses who dragged the barges up and down the canals.
In tunnels however their was no tow path, the horse
would be walked over the hill to the other side. To
get through a tunnel the men working the barge would
have to lay on top of the barge and use their feet
of the side of the tunnel to 'walk' the barge through
the tunnel. this process, illustrated below, was called
building stopped with the invention and development
of the steam engine. Most of the canals of the industrial
age are still navigable (boats can use them) and are
used by thousands of people each year for barging
holidays. Some canals are being redeveloped and reopened
to recognise the importance that canals have in our
heritage and to promote tourism in some areas. (Most
barges now have engines as well, so you'd not HAVE
to leg through tunnels: although some people still
do it this way!)
a form of transport from the list below to find out
more about changes in the way we moved around the
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