M15934.60 | Victoria Bridge, steam traveller, 1859

Victoria Bridge, steam traveller, 1859
J. W. Woodford
1860 (published), 19th century
Ink on paper - Lithography
58.6 x 88 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , bridge (558) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

The engineer James Hodges describes a steam traveller in his work Construction of the Great Victoria Bridge in Canada, published in London in 1860:

"At the junction of the Champlain Railway with the temporary track for the bridge works, was erected the celebrated steam traveller, constructed by Mr. Chaffey, which handled the whole of the stone for the work on the south side of the river. This traveller was sixty feet span, moving upon gawntrees, 1300 feet in length and twenty feet in height. Between theses the stone was sorted and stacked ready for work. The engine and hoisting apparatus formed one machine, moving transversely upon the traveller, which was likewise moved longitudinally with the greatest facility by the steam power. The machine unloaded the wagons, and stacked the largest blocks of stone, some of which weighed ten tons, with the greatest case. In addition to all this, it performed the work of a locomotive: for, after the train was once placed between the gawntrees it did all the shunting required. Over 70,000 tons of stone were moved twice by this machine: and although it was most rudely constructed, and frequently handled as roughly, it remained at the close of the work, an efficient machine in good working order. One man only was required upon the traveller, with one other to lewis and stack the stone. These men, with assistance of a labourer to pump water, were all that were required to manage the unloading, sorting, stacking and shunting. "

Exerpt from James Hodges, Construction of the Great Victoria Bridge in Canada, 1860, John Weale, London.