Troubled Waters


Polish Waters Polish Waters

Poland’s inland waterways are underexploited and underdeveloped. They barely account for 0.2% of the country’s total inland transport. In comparison, the proportion is 17% in Germany. The global trend is to promote water transport. Meanwhile, only 10% of Polish waterways have the operability parameters required by the 2002 resolution on the classification of inland waterways. Although the authorities admit that Poland needs to do a great deal in this area, two ministries seem to be acting at cross-purposes. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Development intends to allocate PLN 4 billion to enhance the navigability of Polish rivers. The plans may, however, be thwarted by the Environment Ministry whose draft water bill envisages a considerable rise in charges for water transport of goods and passengers as well as for the use of sluices. As a result, river transport might prove significantly more expensive than that by motorway. The ministry…

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Commercial Acetylene Gas Generator, ca. 1905

In the short period of time between kerosene or oil lamps and electricity, many cities, towns, and villages, hotels and  businesses throughout America relied upon the often dangerous acetylene gas generator.  Such also was the case for canal dredges and excavators running day and night, twenty-four hours a day.  The generators mixed calcium carbide and [...]

Ireland’s Seven Great Canals and a Network of Smaller Inland Waterways The Great Irish Waterway Renaissance parallels the tremendous interest in and expansion of the inland waterway of America, beginning with the building of the Erie Canal from 1817-1825 in New York,creating a direct link between New York City and the Great Lakes.  While the railroad rendered obsolete the inland waterways in America for the [...]