Saturday, 23 May 2015

Horse-Powered Ferryboat

Paddle boats powered by animals  have been around for a long time..the ancient Romans had them, powered by Oxen and they were highly popular in 19th century America. Apparently, at least eight different horseboat ferry routes operated from docks in southern Manhattan in the years between 1814 and 1819. One in New York, was powered by eight horses and could carry more than 200 passengers across the East River in 8 to 18 minutes.. as fast as a steam paddle boat.

The earlier ones had circular walkways in the middle of the deck for the horses which took up a lot of deck space or, to avoid this boxes were built on the sides, catamaran style,  to house the horses.

My Version is based on an innovation by Barnabas Langdon in 1819 -- the treadwheel-propelled horseboat whereby the drive wheel is placed horizontally under the deck and is similar to the design of a  "horse boat" wreck, the "superior horse boat EAGLE",  which was discovered in 1983/4 in Burlington Bay, Vermont.
I haven´t worked out how the nags can be Held in place (what type of harnesses etc I can use) but seeing as horses are treated well in Bodstonia they do their Job happily so no restraints are needed.  
An old Piece of Jewellery chain.
The Basic structure - pre-painting.
Foam core with Card cladding scored to represent planking. The Roof Frame is made from toothpicks and the Roof canvas (on the painted version) some old material

An artists Impression of the Wreck found in Burlington Bay, Vermont. It´s assumed to be the wreck of the "superior horse boat EAGLE" which apparently slipped it´s moorings and sank in the winter of 1841.
drawing from shipwreck world .com
Obviously this will end up crossing the waterways of Bodstonia and can be seen with Crew and passengers in situ HERE ( along with my solution to steering)

20 comments:

  1. Very smart modelling, well done.

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  2. Very clever work, I love your scratch built boat!

    I'm a bit embarrassed to admit I'd never heard of horse powered boats so thanks for the history lesson too.

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    1. Thanks Monty.
      They aren´t that well known about, I only found out about them by accident..but after finding them (and some sideways Facts) It´s given me a few ideas for future Projects.

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  3. Nice discovery, now how can I fit one it to a scenario??

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    1. Thanks Will. The design turned up by luck. I was going make and use (and still will) log rafts as a method of river Transport in my Imagi-Nation but really big rafts weren´t that practible (or possible) so this design is near perfect for river Transport. It has possibilities of being used not only for Transport but as a gun platform

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  4. Cool mate, you've produced some very imaginative work lately!

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    1. Thanks. I´ve got a couple more coming along..2 medieval devices, one based on an actual historical Thing, the other purely from my own Imagination..but very topical to modern times and another 18th century historically based device.

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  5. A great invention really!
    How did you find this
    I have read the ferry which horse to push, but I never it seen
    Transmission method is same, like automobiles

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    1. Thanks.
      I was looking up a completely different subject which lead my search to a Magazine style site and that had a couple of articles..one on the wreck of the Eagle which looked interesting so I looked at that and did some more Research.

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  6. Now that is a super piece of modeling

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  7. Another fine build sir!

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  8. Spectacular construction now you must fill it with figurines

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  9. Very beautiful modeing!
    I belong to a French association dedicated to draft
    horses called «Traits en Savoie» www.traitsensavoie.fr)
    For our association’s website, I would like to write an article on boats propelled by horses. Would you please allow me to use some of your photos and drawings to illustrate this topic?
    If you agree, I will indicate the source of the documents and your quotes with a link to this website, if applicable.
    Many thanks, and best regards,
    Patrick

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    1. Hi Patrick. Thanks for asking and I give you permission.
      Bonne année
      Paul

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    2. Merci Paul et bonne année à vous.

      Patrick.

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  10. Hello Paul. Your model is indeed beautiful. I am writing an article for an American draft horse magazine about teamboats. Illustrations of treadwheels are scarce. Would you allow me to use one of your photos to illustrate, with credits of course? Best wishes, Jenifer Morrissey

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    1. Hello Jenifer. Thankyou, and Thankyou for asking. You can use the photos :-) There are others with a Crew and passengers on my Bodstonia blog. Direct link in the last sentence of the above post.
      All the best with the article
      Cheers
      paul

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    2. Thank you Paul. I'll look at your other blog, too. Best wishes, Jenifer Morrissey

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