Barge Haulers on the Volga (1870-1873)

Barge haulers on the volga

Barge haulers on the Volga“, a late 19th century painting by Ilja Repin.

How to Ship an Obelisk

how to ship an obelisk

In the 19th century Egyptian rulers gifted several large 1500BC obelisks to Paris, London and New York, all of which are still standing today. We already know how these things were erected, but how did they get there? The images above and below (from a 1878 article in the French magazine “La Nature”) show the vessel used for the transportation of the fragile 250 tonne heavy granite stone which is now in London.

A special vessel (the “Cleopatra”), was constructed around the obelisk, rolled into the sea, and then towed across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic to England. It sank on the way, but miraculously drifted to shore and was saved. The barge consisted of a steel cylinder enveloped in wood. The Americans, the French, and (much earlier) the Romans used different methods.

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Drug Catapult Found at US-Mexico Border

Trebuchet “Drug smugglers trying to get marijuana across the Arizona-Mexico border apparently are trying a new approach – a catapult. National Guard troops operating a remote video surveillance system at the Naco Border Patrol Station say they observed several people preparing a catapult and launching packages over the International Border fence last Friday evening.” Read & watch.

Pedal Powered FlatBed Truck

Pedal powered flatbed truck “Originally designed to serve the load carrying requirements of the Tri-Sled factory, the FlatBed Truck is a high-bulk load carrier. We use one of these for getting around our local industrial estate, transporting frames and fairings to our powder-coating and painting contractors, or picking up steel and other oversized materials.”

“The FlatBed Truck is far more convenient than carting large items to and from a car or van. With this maneuverable vehicle, you can simple roll straight in and out of your business or factory. It even serves as a handy rolling work bench for working outside on sunny days.”

“The FlatBed Truck is also incredibly easy to store. Just flip it up on its end when not in use, and use the rear rolling wheels to move it against a wall or into a small space. The rolling wheels also serve as a back bump stop.” Trisled FlatBed Truck.

Phillips, Decker and Canadian Pack Saddles

Phillips, Decker and Canadian Pack Saddles

Reader BG Hearns writes: “While your link to the 1916 pack manual is of historical interest, what you ought to know is that low-tech packing has advanced considerably over that publication and anyone who wishes to pack with animals should know that there are much superior options available today. The manual describes a very difficult to use piece of equipment that is so easy to get wrong that only a few experts could ever use it properly.

What your readers ought to know is that in 1924, the US army adopted the Phillips Pack Saddle which was much simpler and easier to use. Other advances in pack saddles since then are the Decker style (more) and the Canadian saddle pack, neither of which require complex knots, both of which incorporate simple, effective new design ideas, and both of which could be easily made in a small shop. Perfect for low-tech affictionados.”

Thanks for the note, BG. I have added some more links to your comment.

Tandem Cargo Tricycle (1940) & More Vintage Dutch Carrier Bikes

Tandem Cargo Tricycle

Mechanics from the Dutch telecom department PTT (1940). Found at Transportfiets. The blog has more pictures of old Dutch carrier bikes, some of them below.

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