Ed L. Walp

Name of interviewee:  Ed. L. Walp
Date of birth:  about 1899/77
Interviewer:  Lance Metz, Leon Dreyer
Interview date:  about 1975
Interview location:  Weissport, PA
Interview length:  39 minutes
Time span discussed:  1919 until mid 1940’s

Summary:  Keeping the canals and rivers in working order required crews of men to dredge, dig out accumulated coal dust, right the wrongs floods created, mow the banks, and many other tasks. This interview takes us into the details of many of these jobs through the eyes of Ed Walp, who worked at many of them from October 5, 1919, until 1965.


Time markers:
00:00 – introduction
00:50 – worked on a dairy farm, wanted future; joined the canal company 1919, worked on pump dredge #4, sludge onto bank or into river; dredges stationed at different spots
03:05 – team of 4 on dredge–engineer, fireman, two handymen, covering about 80 ft. a day; description of how pumps worked
05:30 – worked on drag line on scraper boat cleaning river channels, description of scraper; 10-12 hour days, 40 cents an hour, engineer got 55 cents
08:01 – labor gangs mowed tow path and berm bank using hand scythe
08:17 – ran shovel dredge 16 years, hard work, description of work and moving the boat; stories about working and other boats
18:20 – dredging boats’ areas; coal miners’ strike
20:00 – company built digger boats, steam machines required about 10 tons of coal a day
21:24 – winter time activity
24:02 – he only worked on Delaware Canal down to 5-mile level (New Hope);  #3 dredge worked from New Hope to Bristol, operated by Stace Dillon
25:29 – flood of 1942, work boats needed safety lines, flood damage; worked as carpenter for company after canal closed
31:25 – Freddie Wolfe, master mechanic boss; company manager Church nice man, stocky guy
32:30 – his first job at Catfish Pond, Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe), where boats loaded with coal
34:05 – mud digger work process
37:54 – working at White Haven dam

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