The 1905-1918 enlargement of the Erie Canal, forming the Barge Canal (or Erie Barge Canal) eliminated the tow path in most areas. In the last decade or so of the 1800s, self-propelled canalboats and tugs towing or pushing barges became more common, so by the beginning of the 1900s, the towpath was no longer necessary. In the east, the new canal was constructed by canalizing the Mohawk, Oneida, Seneca and Clyde Rivers, while, in the west, the old Enlarged Erie Canal was straightened and widened, allowing the use of boats carrying up to 1000 tons. A new line of 1000 ton steel barges and tugs was designed to make use of the enlarged canal. Below are the plans for some of the new boats (all from: Annual Report of the State Engineer and Surveyor of the State of New York, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1904 (Albany : Brandow Printing Co., 1905) -- opposite p. 44-46):
| Left: "1000 Ton Net, Canal Barge."
Right: "Midship Sections, 1000 Ton net, Canal Barges."
| Left: "Longitudinal Vertical Sections, Tug for 1000 Ton net,
Canal Barges [and] Longitudinal Vertical Sections, 1000 Ton net, Canal Barge, Type C."
Right: "Steel Tug for 1000 Ton net, Canal Barges."
Examples of some of the new boats, built for the Erie Barge Canal:
|Fleet of modern steel canal barges.||Traffic on the Erie Barge Canal.||Lower terminal at Troy.|
|All four above and left from: Annual report of the State Engineer and Surveyor for the year ended June 30, 1919 / State of New York (Albany : J.B. Lyon Co., printers, 1920) -- Middle above: facing p. 12 ; Others: facing p. 48.|
|Navy coal barges on the canal.|
|Barge under tow, Erie Canal, New York.||Tug pulling barges through Lock Eleven, Erie Canal, N.Y. [near Amsterdam].|
|All four above and left taken Oct. 1941 by John Collier, photographer ; Farm Security Administration -- from: Office of War Information Photograph Collection, Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC.|
|Tanker churning out of Lock Eleven, Erie Canal, New York [near Amsterdam].|
The Day Peckinpaugh was the first freighter of its kind designed to navigate both the New York State Barge Canal System and the open waters of the Great Lakes. Put into service in 1921 as the Interwaterways Line 101, it transported bulk cargoes between the midwest and the Port of New York. Later, in the 1950's, and called the Richard J. Barnes, it was exclusively carrying dry cement from Oswego through the Oswego Canal and Erie Canal to Rome. It was the last regularly scheduled commercial hauler on the canal, and was retired from service in 1994. Saved from being scrapped in 2005, it was purchased by a partnership between the New York State Museum and the Canal Society of New York State to serve as a floating museum and educational exhibit.
The Day Peckinpaugh was built at the McDougall-Duluth Shipyard in Duluth, Minnesota, the first motorship designed specifically for the dimensions of the Barge Canal. It is 259 feet long and 36 feet wide, has 14 feet depth of hold, and has a capacity of 1650 tons. After its 1921 maiden voyage, it was followed by over a hundred similar motorships on the Barge Canal, but remains today as the last surviving example of a canal motorship. Below are several photographs of the Day Peckinpaugh (all photographs courtesy of Amelia O'Shea):
|The Day Peckinpaugh, headed north in the Hudson River at Albany in October 2007. Note the length of this ship.||The Day Peckinpaugh in the Erie Canal, headed west in the Waterford Flight, just about to enter Lock E-3 in May 2008.|| The Day Peckinpaugh in the Erie Canal, |
headed east at the Waterford Guard Gate
(down the Waterford Flight) in May 2007.
| For more pictures and information on the Day Peckinpaugh,
check out the following sources: |
· The New York State Museum, Ongoing Exhibitions: The Day Peckinpaugh
· The Travels of Tug 44, Freighter Day Peckinpaugh.
|The Day Peckinpaugh, headed north in the Champlain Canal, approaching the Fort Miller Guard Gate -- Photo by Duncan Hay, August 2009.|