Grant Emery – 2

Interviewee:  Grant Emery
Date of birth:  circa 1890
Interviewer:  C. P.”Bill” Yoder
Interview date:  Nov. 24, 1968
Interview location:  Emery home
Interview length:  24 minutes
Time span discussed:  1900 to 1930’s

Summary:  This early interview was most likely done by C.P. ‘Bill’ Yoder, the founder of the Pennsylvania Canal Society, which was a forerunner of the National Canal Museum. While the voice of Mr. Emery is not distinct, the interview gives us insights into Mr. Yoder’s questions and early research efforts. How canal boats were secured for the winter and refreshed in the spring takes up most of the interview; however the final minutes are unique in our collection for describing the tug work at Bristol, done by hand, not mules, to pull the boats into the river and take the empty boats from the tug and route them into the Bristol basin. Also of interest is the only notation we have in the collection of pig iron being transported and loaded into ships in Philadelphia harbor. 


Time markers:
00:00 – permission to publish material from the interview
00:24 – tying up the boats for winter, winter maintenance
04:23 – always water in canal in winter, ice skating, more winter maintenance
06:41 – discussion that boats were used, never barges
07:48 – more about maintenance for winter
08:21 – getting the canal and boats ready in spring
09:49 – water barrels; river water stayed fresh for many weeks
11:58 – tide at Bristol about 8 feet
12:48 – more spring maintenance; painting boats
16:00 – weigh lock at Mauch Chunk; formerly weigh lock at Easton, also
16:41 – Morris Canal in New Jersey
17:33 – beginning work in spring
19:28 – Bristol to Philadelphia, organization for the tug tow, hand-operated in basin to tug
22:10 – pig iron, loaded into ships by hoist equipment

Grant Emery interview 1.

Grant Emery interview 3.

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