Russell Greenzweig

Name of interviewee:  Russell Greenzweig
Date of birth/age at interview:  1902/68
Interviewer:  C. P. “Bill” Yoder, founder of the Pennsylvania Canal Association
Interview date:  August 15, 1970
Interview location:  Greenzweig home, Walnut Park, PA
Interview length:  29 minutes
Time span discussed:  1909 to 1930

Summary:  This appears to be the oldest recording of a canal worker in the NCM collection. Although the sound quality is poor, it is valuable for the descriptions of canal points including the time to transit from Coalport (north of Mauch Chunk/Jim Thorpe) to Philadelphia and return. There is also a description of the New Hope cable ferry system.


Time markers:
00:00 – introduction; began work in 1909 for his boat captain father; little schooling
01:30 – used both company boats and own boat
03:12 – loaded at Coalport, to Philadelphia and return about 7½ days; details of the trips, locks, levels (longer sections without locks), and night stopping points; details of trip
13:00 – tidal lock at Bristol Basin, waiting for a tow to go on the river, tug towed 7 boats to Philadelphia, returned, used tides for trips
17:08 – New Hope cable ferry, crossing to the Raritan Canal feeder
21:00 – mules, buying mules
23:40 – Company paid per ton of coal
24:29 – weigh locks and scale system; some boats carried stone
26:56 – typical chores, feeding the mules, food they ate; locks open 4:00 a. m. to 10:00 p. m.; ends in mid description

Tags: , , , , , .