When planning a canal, the designer will attempt to build a summit level with a large reservoir, or one supplied by an artificial watercourse from a distant source, or one as long as possible (to act as its own reservoir) or which cuts across as many springs or rivers as possible (or all of these). This type can be found all over the world, but the terminology here is that used on the British canals. Measures such as a fish ladder are often taken to counteract this. The mitred canal gate, angled into the downward force of the stream and replacing the earlier vertical lift gate, may have been invented by Leonardo da Vinci for the San Marco Lock in Milan, making possible the interconnection, formerly prevented by their different levels, of the Martesana Canal and the Naviglio Grande. As well as providing leverage to open and close the heavy gate, the beam also balances the (non-floating) weight of the gate in its socket, and so allows the gate to swing more freely. A pound lock is a type of lock that is used almost exclusively nowadays on canals and rivers. During the competitive years of the English waterways system, an established canal company would often refuse to allow a connection from a newer, adjacent one. An inclined plane consists of a cradle (to hold a barge) or caisson (a box full of water in which a barge can float) which moves on rails sideways up a slope from one waterway to the other. The upper gate is as tall as the canal is deep, plus a little more for the balance beam, winding mechanism, etc. In these cases, some of the barges are locked through, using partially opened lock valves to create a current to pull the un-powered barges out of the lock where they are tied up to wait for the rest of the barges and the tug to pass through the lock. Since the late 1990s the preferred method has been to retain or re-install the gate paddles and fit 'baffles' across them to minimise the risk of inundation. When a stretch of river is made navigable, a lock is sometimes required to bypass an obstruction such as a rapid, dam, or mill weir – because of the change in river level across the obstacle. This reduces any leaks from between them and prevents their being opened until water levels have equalised. The French company failed in 1889, and nearly everyone involved gave up—except Bunau-Varilla. Therefore, there existed double-gate locks in 984 A.D. on China’s Grand Canal. Early completely artificial canals, across fairly flat countryside, would get round a small hill or depression by simply detouring (contouring) around it. My dog, the crazy man, was bred to guard the barges on the canals of the Low Countries in the Middle Ages. The Van gate has the special property that it can open in the direction of high water solely using water pressure. 2 pages at 300 words per page) View a FREE sample. The design of a Van gate is shown in the image on the lower right. Usually it took either one man working very hard or two men sharing the load to lift one of the old locks against the force of gravity. This was a water way from one place to another to transport cargo. Some narrow locks (e.g. , The Erie Canal management did not like swelling for two reasons. Sometimes a river is made entirely non-tidal by constructing a sea lock directly into the estuary. In areas where water-wastage due to vandalism is a problem, (for example the Birmingham Canal Navigations), paddle mechanisms are commonly fitted with vandal-proof locks (nowadays rebranded "water conservation devices") which require the boater to employ a key before the paddle can be lifted. A lock is a device used for raising and lowering boats, ships and other watercraft between stretches of water of different levels on river and canal waterways. Nowadays it is considered discourteous and wasteful of water to leave a paddle open after a boat has left the lock, but in commercial days it was normal practice. This system was used extensively in Ancient China and in many other parts of the world. − As well as the "static" approaches mentioned earlier (various types of contouring, excavating, and spanning), there were many ingenious "dynamic" solutions, mostly variations on the boat lift or the inclined plane. A 200-ton boat moving at a few miles an hour could destroy the lock gate. one side of the lock has water whose level varies with the tide) or where a canal meets a river whose level may vary, the water on the tidal or river side (the "downstream" side) may rise above the water on the normal "upper" side. There may be a freely rotating sleeve around the handle to protect the hands from the friction of rough iron against skin. For reference, the picture far left shows the lock in operation, with a tug and a barge (loaded with sand and gravel) waiting for the gates to open. The rise is the change in water-level in the lock. The first canal lock appeared in A.D. 984. When undertaking a journey through several canals with different lock-gear spindle sizes it was necessary to carry several different windlasses. Powered locks are usually still filled by gravity, though some very large locks use pumps to speed things up. In about 1817 the Regents Canal Company built one of these locks at the site of the present-day Camden Lock, north London. The simplest windlass is made from an iron rod of circular section, about half an inch in diameter and two feet long, bent to make an L-shape with legs of slightly different length. On the Thames in England, this was closed with vertical posts (known as rymers) against which boards were placed to block the gap. First, it used too much water lowering the water on the pound above sometimes causing boats to run aground. The four gate stop lock near Kings Norton Junction, between the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal and the Worcester and Birmingham Canal was replaced in 1914 by a pair of guillotine lock gates which stopped the water flow regardless of which canal was higher. To economise, especially where good stone would be prohibitively expensive or difficult to obtain, composite locks were made, i.e. The gates of a Guillotine lock work in a way similar to a sluice gate, but most canal lock gates are hinged to swing like doors. At the end of the 14th century the opening of the Stecknitz Canal in Germany (1398) was the first summit canal in Europe, a progression made possible by the use of single locks. On some parts of the Montgomery Canal bottom paddles are used in place of side paddles. The company insisted on various modifications to Congreve's design; the resulting installation proved to be unsatisfactory, and was soon replaced by conventional locks. The two deepest locks on the English canal system are Bath deep lock on the Kennet and Avon Canal and Tuel Lane Lock on the Rochdale Canal, which both have a rise of nearly 20 feet (6.1 m). A more sophisticated device was the staunch or water gate, consisting of a gate (or pair of mitred gates) which could be closed and held shut by water pressure when the river was low, to float vessels over upstream shallows at times of low water. Many of these idiosyncratic paddles have been "modernised" and they are becoming rare. Nowadays this type of gate can still be found in a few places, for example in Gouda. Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, writing 200 years later, described how Ptolemy II had improved the Nile-to- Red Sea canal by building a type of lock. The whole operation will usually take between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the size of the lock and whether the water in the lock was originally set at the boat's level. N.p., n.d. The system was widely installed and on some canals it became very common. Locks enable ships to go from one water level to another, thus making many more transportation routes possible. In an "apparent" staircase the chambers still have common gates, but the water does not pass directly from one chamber to the next, going instead via side ponds. "Flight" is not synonymous with "Staircase" (see below). The 29 locks on the Mississippi River are typically 600 feet (180 m) long while tug and barge combinations are as much as 1,200 feet (370 m) long consisting of as many as 15 barges and one tug. Con… Some boatmen had their windlasses 'silvered' (or chrome plated) for increased comfort and to prevent rusting. The gates were 'hanging gates'; when they were closed the water accumulated like a tide until the required level was reached, and then when the time came it was allowed to flow out. The earliest patent for a double-acting pin tumbler lock was granted to American physician Abraham O. Stansbury in England in 1805, but the modern version, still in use today, was invented by American Linus Yale, Sr. in 1848. A paddle – sometimes known as a slacker, clough, or (in American English) wicket – is the simple valve by which the lock chamber is filled or emptied. This section contains 600 words (approx. , Possibly inspired by Weldon's caisson lock, William Congreve in 1813 patented a "hydro-pneumatic double balance lock" in which two adjacent locks containing pneumatic caissons could be raised and lowered in counterbalance by the movement of compressed air from one caisson to the other. A valve is opened, this lowers the boat by draining water from the chamber. By 1968 these had been replaced by hydraulic power acting through steel rams. A "stop" lock is a (very) low-rise lock built at the junction of two (rival) canals to prevent water from passing between them. As engineers became more ambitious in the types of country they felt they could overcome, locks became essential to effect the necessary changes in water level without detours that would be completely uneconomic both in building costs and journey time. In addition to this there will be a boat lift (a large elevator) capable of moving a three-thousand-ton ship vertically in one motion. Hall Green stop lock remains, but as a single lock: the extra lock was removed because the lowering of the T&M's summit pound (to improve Harecastle Tunnel's "air draught" – its free height above the water level) meant that the T&M would always be lower than the Macclesfield. On the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the lockkeepers were required to remove the windlasses from all lock paddles at night, to prevent unauthorized use.. Since this system necessarily involved lowering the level in the pound, it was not popular with millers who depended on a full head of water to operate their equipment. A windlass (also variously 'lock handle', 'iron' or simply 'key') is a detachable crank used for opening lock paddles (the word does not refer to the winding mechanism itself). At the end of the 14th century the opening of the Stecknitz Canal in Germany (1398) was the first summit canal in Europe, a progression made possible by the use of single locks. Lock emptied for maintenance – centre pair of gates. In a single lock (or a flight with room for boats to pass) boats should ideally alternate in direction. Note that if the canal is simply a navigation cut connecting two stretches of the same river, the flood lock will be at the upstream end of the cut (the downstream end will have a conventional lock). This type of gate was a Dutch invention in the early 19th century. The barge would be directed to the slack water to one side of the lock gates and as the volume of water decreased as the lock emptied the barge or boat is effectively sucked out of the slack water into the path of the lock gates. The natural extension of the staunch was to provide an upper gate (or pair of gates) to form an intermediate "pound" which was all that need be emptied when a boat passed through. On the Grand Union (Leicester) Canal, the Watford flight consists of a four-chamber staircase and three separate locks; and the Foxton flight consists entirely of two adjacent 5-chamber staircases. Hailed as one of the great achievements of the 20th Century, the Panama Canal connects 160 countries and 1,700 ports around the world. The boatmen and women, the children who led the boat horse and grew up on board. , Looking superficially similar to the caisson lock is the shaft lock. At that time, the engineers developed flash locks to solve the problem of boats required to sail through different elevation changes in rivers or canals while sailing upstream and downstream. To prevent this, a rope was wound around the snubbing post as the boat entered the lock. a Operation of a staircase is more involved than a flight. This includes a lock between a tidal river and the non-tidal reaches, or between a tidal river and a canal, or a sea lock. These are properly known as broad locks. The most common arrangement, usually called miter gates, was invented by Leonardo da Vinci sometime around the late 15th century. Each end of the chamber is equipped with a gate, or pair of half-gates, made of oak or elm (or now sometimes steel). Each lift has a capacity of 1,300 tonnes. The fall would have been 16 metres (52 ft), astonishing in 1749.  Even on smaller canals, some gates and paddles are electrically operated, particularly if the lock is regularly staffed by professional lock keepers. On the Oxford Canal it is called a babbie; on the Grand Union Canal it is referred to as the cill bumper. On the Caledonian Canal the lock gates were operated by man-powered capstans, one connected by chains to open the gate and another to draw it closed. It requires around 15 minutes to fill or empty the lock. On English canals, these reservoirs are called "side ponds". Lock staircases are used in an attempt to reduce the total volume of water required in relation to the amount of useful work done. However the approach tunnel proved to be unusable in times of flood and the shaft lock was replaced by a 2-rise staircase in 1768.. Only recently have boaters been allowed limited access to the hydraulic gear to operate the locks when the keeper is not present. Flash locks, the first attempts to carry boats over difficult elevation changes on rivers or canals, date from the third century B.C. ", "Final Report of the International Commission for the Study of Locks", Merriam-Webster Dictionary, definition of miter sill, "Governor Cuomo Announces Funding For Restoration of Lockport Locks", "Mitsubishi helps breath new life into important canal routes", de:Sparschleuse#Die Funktionsweise einer Sparschleuse, "Foxton Inclined Plane Trust: Restoration", "History of the Caisson Lock On the Somersetshire Coal Canal", "Congreve's Hydro-Pneumatic Canal Lift – A Humbug! The exit gates are opened and the boat moves out. When the box was at the bottom of the chamber, it was under almost 60 feet (18 m) of water – at a pressure of three atmospheres, in total. The world's largest lock was, until 2016, the Berendrecht Lock, giving access to the Port of Antwerp in Belgium. Where a very steep gradient has to be climbed, a lock staircase is used. "Turning" a lock can simply mean emptying a full lock, or filling an empty one ("We entered the lock, and it only took us five minutes to turn it"). Even worse, it had a safety defect, in that the paddle once in the raised position could not be dropped in an emergency, but had to be wound down, taking a good deal longer. A lock-keeper or member of the boat's shore crew engages the square socket of their windlass (see below) onto the end of the axle and turns the windlass perhaps a dozen times. asked passing crews to tell the upstream lock to give them an extra heavy swell, which consisted of opening all the paddles on the lock gate, creating a surge that affected the whole pound below. That boat was already leaking; the crew, having partially pumped the water out, entered Lock 74, moving in front of another boat. If it is desirable that boats can use the lock in these circumstances, then there needs to be a full set of gates pointing towards the tidal or river side. The upper chamber rises 60 feet (18 m) and is connected to the lower chamber by a tunnel, which when descending does not become visible until the chamber is nearly empty.. On English canals, steel gates usually have wooden mitre posts as this gives a better seal. Canals have been an important way to move goods and carry people for more than 5,000 years. Even though the drop from the newer to the older canal might only be a few inches, the difference in levels still required a lock – called a stop lock, because it was to stop water flowing continuously between the newer canal and the older, lower one. Some low-head locks use sliding steel gates (see, Guillotine gates. The lock he invented – the miter lock, is still in use today at almost any canal or waterway you visit. Side ponds, piped from the main tube, are incorporated to save water. A marine railway is similar to a canal inclined plane in that it moves boats up or down a slope on rails. Since 2016, the largest lock worldwide is the Kieldrecht Lock in the Port of Antwerp, Belgium. , and area of the lock, Boaters approaching a lock are usually pleased to meet another boat coming towards them, because this boat will have just exited the lock on their level and therefore set the lock in their favour – saving about 5 to 10 minutes. These factors led to the abandonment of the policy in the late 1990s, but examples of it survive all over the system, as it is usually not removed until the gates need replacing, which happens about every twenty years. In addition, it raised the water level on the pound below causing some boats to strike bridges or get stuck.. On large modern canals, especially very large ones such as ship canals, the gates and paddles are too large to be hand operated, and are operated by hydraulic or electrical equipment. First canal lock. This dam building was repeated along the river, until there were "steps" of deep water. Yet the first true pound lock was built in 1396 at Damme near Bruges, Belgium. Partly for this reason staircase locks such as Grindley Brook, Foxton, Watford and Bratch are supervised by lockkeepers, at least during the main cruising season, they normally try to alternate as many boats up, followed by down as there are chambers in the flight. p A subsequent section explains common variations. The distinguishing feature of a lock is a fixed chamber in which the water level can be varied; whereas in a caisson lock, a boat lift, or on a canal inclined plane, it is the chamber itself (usually then called a caisson) that rises and falls. -618 BCE. Typically, a square-section stub emerges from the housing of the winding gear. ", Video footage of the unique Drop Lock at Dalmuir on the Forth & Clyde Canal, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lock_(water_navigation)&oldid=998435172, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2019, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from April 2020, All articles with vague or ambiguous time, Articles lacking reliable references from November 2015, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2012, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from February 2018, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. "Lock mooring" was a commonly used method of navigating into a lock by a barge travelling upstream. Later canals used more and larger locks to allow a more direct route to be taken. The proposal is for a long tube of reinforced concrete, of a size to accommodate the boats being lifted, to be built on the slope between the upper and lower levels. To help boats leave (downstream) a lock, the locksman[who?] Canals 1750 to 1900. In more simplistic terms, on a canal where only one boat will fit into a lock, a boat travelling from the summit pound to the lowest pound is accompanied on its journey by one 'personal' lockful of water. A gate paddle simply covers a hole in the lower part of a gate; a more sophisticated ground paddle blocks an underground culvert. When the oncoming water hit them it forced the two miters into each other which resulted in an even tighter seal between them. This suspended navigation on the canal for 48 hours until the lock gates could be replaced and the boat removed from the lock.. In ancient times river transport was common, but rivers were often too shallow to carry anything but the smallest boats. This rotates the pinion and lifts the paddle. Doubling gives advantages in speed, avoiding hold-ups at busy times and increasing the chance of a boat finding a lock set in its favour. 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