Ship handling in Imperial China, ca. 1910 - Ships Nostalgia
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Ship handling in Imperial China, ca. 1910

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  #1  
Old 1st February 2019, 13:22
Charles in Shanghai's Avatar
Charles in Shanghai Charles in Shanghai is offline
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Ship handling in Imperial China, ca. 1910

Dear reader,

Can you please advise me on what the photos display? A group of hard working men, are turning a wheel, which seems to haul a ship up a ramp. Have you seen this before, and can you say more about it?

Many thanks,
Pieter Lommerse

https://www.flickr.com/photos/161392...posted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/161392...posted-public/
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  #2  
Old 1st February 2019, 13:33
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is online now  
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They appear to be doing exactly as you suggest. Each photograph shows a boat being hauled up a slipway by human-powered capstan or windlass.

It remains common practice anywhere in the world where power by steam or electricity or internal combustion might not be available.
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Old 1st February 2019, 18:34
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is online now  
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Quite possibly there will be a series of rollers underneath each boat. These could be fasioned from round lengths of timber of (about) four inches in diameter , with the length being about the same as the beam of the boat, or a bit less. These would be placed ahead of the boat, when the haul first started, and it would require teamwork for numerous hands to move from the stern of the boat after each roller had been passed over, and then bring the used roller round to to the fore-end of the boat, to be used again as the boat is rolled uphill. There is no sign of this being done in the photographs, but this is quite possibly because the rollers and their handlers are simply out of sight. The rollers make the job very much easier than it would be without them!
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Old 5th March 2019, 20:25
oceanmariner oceanmariner is offline  
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Labor was cheaper than steam in China. My father was there shortly after WWI in the USN. Lots of interesting stories.
That capstan isn't much different than what was on sailing ships.
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Old 6th March 2019, 09:03
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I have a feeling I read years ago about a set of rapids in the Yangtse that were not navigable by the junks and they were hauled out and manhandled above the problem

Mike
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Old 8th March 2019, 01:33
oceanmariner oceanmariner is offline  
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It depends on the river stage. Large gangs of coolies, wading along the banks or in shallows dragged small ships and barges up river. Sometimes in falling conditions ships were stranded and had to wait for the next high water. The 3 gorges dam ended that. Somewhere I have a picture of a gunboat high and dry, but couldn't find it.
Several nations had gunboats on the Chinese rivers after the Boxer Rebellion until about 1941.
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