Inland navigation has always adapted and responded to its new competitors, playing on the increase in tonnage of boats and longer journeys. This large self-propelled barge is the property of an artisan ; you might, with a little luck, see one of these passing by!
1810 is the beginning of the era of inland river navigation in the North of France, with its canalboat called « baquet ». This boat, 30 meters long and 4,80meters large, is the predecessor of the wooden barge called “péniche” which will be built in thousands and thousands of units.
By the mid nineteenth century, animal hauling is regulated and organized by the government for the the important navigation line Charleroi-Paris. The maximum speed of the coal road is regulated at 3km/h and it is forbidden to haul the barge by men.
Beautiful regulatory bell of a self-propelled barge. This bell was rung as a warning when there was fog.
As from the XVIIth century, passenger boats enable people in France to travel from city to city. The journeys became well organised with set fares and departure times. Horses that had been hauling, were replaced during regular stops at coaching inns to make sure of a swift journey.
Thanks to the invention in the 1850s of the removable weir, all the main streams and rivers of France, except the Loire, have been at least partly canalized into canals, Of course, a lock adjacent to the weir, allows boats to pass.
On the canals of France, towing horses disappeared around 1960/70. The hauling rope is attached to the top of the mast to prevent it clinging to the vegetation on the riverside .
Bargees worked as artisans and have always struggled to obtain better prices for their journeys. Several strikes have marked the history of inland water transport: 1905-1933-1936 and, of course, 1968. This poster is very representative of the particular style of the popular workshop of Fine Arts.
All big cities of France have developed on places close to rivers. Inland river navigation has played a keyrole in supplying the cities with goods, but has also transported great numbers of people. This painting represents the former port of Saint-Paul in Paris, mid 18th century.To limit the risks of fire, wood is stacked in […]
« Rivers are roads that run … » (Blaise Pascal) but rivers are also frontiers… Intended for students of the school of Bridges and Roads, this model of a bridge (XVIII century), was probably used during the lecture on how to draw and cut the timber structure.