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Craft of the Inland Waterways (Hardback)

P&S History > By Century > 18th Century P&S History > By Century > 19th Century P&S History > By Century > 20th Century Transport

By Anthony Burton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 176
Illustrations: Colour and mono integrated
ISBN: 9781399070805
Published: 24th May 2023



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The book traces the history of the various craft that have been used for transport on Britain’s rivers and canals from the earliest times to the present day. The first section deals with the long history of the development of river craft, from prehistoric log boats to the whole range of sailing barges, such as the Humber keel and the Thames barge. By the middle of the 18th century, canal construction brought in a new generation of craft, not just the familiar narrow boats, but the wide boats such as the Leeds & Liverpool short boats, maintenance craft and even passenger boats. Steam power was introduced in the 19th century for a variety of crafts from tugs to pleasure steamers, while the 20th century brought in the diesel motors for boats and barges of all kinds. Today, there is still some commercial traffic, but an ever-increasing demand for boats for pleasure. Much of this story is told in terms of preserved craft and is also based on the author’s own experience aboard many of these craft, whether crewing a Thames barge or working in the engine room of a Clyde puffer.

"...even if you aren’t especially interested in waterways there is much absorbing detail to enjoy here."

The Society of Model and Experimental Engineers Journal - Volume 31 No. 6, December 2023

"It’s an excellent introduction to cargo-carrying boats, expertly presented in such a way that it will appeal to both knowledgeable enthusiasts and newcomers to the subject."

Waterways World - August 2023
 Anthony Burton

About Anthony Burton

Anthony Burton has been writing about the history of transport and technology for fifty years. His books include Remains of a Revolution, The Railway Builders, The Locomotive Pioneers and biographies of Thomas Telford, George and Robert Stephenson and a biography of Marc and Isambard Brunel (due to be published in 2022). He has worked extensively in TV and most recently as historical adviser to the Discovery Channel series Industrial Revelations, More Industrial Revelations and On the Rails.

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