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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Canal

The River Nile has fed waterways to maintain life in Egypt since the earliest times. The world’s first canal was built there in around 4000BC.

The Persian emperor Darius I constructed a canal linking the Nile to the Red Sea in the early 6th century BC.

Probably the oldest ship canal to be still in use is the Grand Canal in China, which links Tianjin and Hangzhou and connects the Huang He (Yellow River) and Chang Jiang. It was originally built in three stages: the first was finished around 486 BC, the second (linking the Chang Jiang and Huang He) was constructed from 605 to 610, and the third between 1282 and 1292. With a total length of approximately 1,000 miles it is also the longest.

The first modern lock gates were installed on a canal in Milan in 1500. They were probably designed by Leonardo da Vinci.

37 Acts of Parliament were passed in just two years for the construction of canals in Britain from 1794.

The Erie Canal opened on October 26, 1825. The 363-mile canal connected Lake Erie and the Hudson River and cost $7,602,000.

Salt helped build the Erie Canal. A tax of 12 1/2 percent on New York State salt, plus tolls charged for salt shipments, paid for nearly half of the $7 million construction cost.

British and French engineers started building the Suez Canal on April 25, 1859. It took ten years and employed more than 1.5 million people.


The Corinth Canal, which bisects the narrow Isthmus of Corinth, was formally opened on July 25, 1893, connecting the Gulf of Corinth with the Aegean Sea's Saronic Gulf.

The Manchester Ship Canal linking Greater Manchester in North West England to the Irish Sea, was officially opened by Queen Victoria on May 21, 1894.  The ship canal took six years to complete at a cost of just over £15 million, equivalent to about £1.65 billion in 2011.

The first vessel to unload its cargo on the opening day was the Pioneer, belonging to the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), which was also the first vessel registered at Manchester; the CWS operated a weekly service to Rouen.

At 36¼ miles (58km) long, the Manchester Ship Canal is still the longest river navigation canal and remains the world's eighth-longest ship canal, only slightly shorter than the Panama Canal in Central America.

The yacht Norseman headed a convoy of vessels at the canal's opening in January 1894. Seen passing the Barton Swing Aqueduct, it carried the company's directors

The 98 kilometer (61 mile) Kiel Canal, connecting the North Sea to the Baltic Sea across the base of the Jutland peninsula in Germany and the busiest artificial waterway in the world, was officially opened on June 20, 1895. An average of(460 kilometers 250 nautical miles) is saved by using the Kiel Canal instead of going around the Jutland Peninsula.

Locks at Brunsbüttel connecting the Kiel canal to the River Elbe estuary, and thence to the North Sea

The Panama Canal opened to traffic on August 15, 1914 with the transit of the cargo ship SS Ancon.

A boat sailing from New York to San Francisco saves 7,872 miles using the Panama Canal, instead of going via Cape Horn.

In May 2015 BBC Four aired "the most boring TV show ever"—an un-narrated, two-hour narrowboat journey on the Kennet and Avon Canal

There were 5,000 miles of canals in Britain at the height of its boom.

Britons pay 2 pence per person per week in tax to maintain theur waterways.

54,000 jobs are supported by canals and rivers in the UK

A gongoozler, is someone who stares for a long time at things happening on a canal.

Source Hutchinson Encyclopedia © RM 2013. Helicon Publishing is division of RM.

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