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Steam Powered Alligator???

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  • Steam Powered Alligator???

    Sounds crazy, doesn't it. But---As many of you already know, I grew up near Algonquin Park in semi Northern Ontario. This was (and still is) a vast federal reserve, covered with an immense white pine forest. Being in the Canadian Shield, it is also very hilly and full of many swamps. When the park was heavily logged in the 1800's, many of the logs were brought out on winter "snow/ice roads" in the winter when the swamps were frozen, but logging in the park went on year round. To access the many remote areas and to pull big booms of logs down the lakes from remote areas, the Steam Alligators were developed. They were a short, broad, heavy timbered boat, with a large steam winch mounted mid ships, and dual side paddlewheels. These paddlewheels were reinforced, and actually hung below the bottom of the keel. These boats could operate as any conventional side wheeler of the time when on open water, but when they came to large heavily overgrown swampy areas, they could actually navigate them as well, "walking" as it were on the bottom of the paddlewheels untill they once again reached open water. On open water, if the boom of logs was small, they would draw it along under paddle wheel power. If however the booms were truly huge, as was usually the case, the boat would hook the winch cable onto the boom, then pay out slack cable and drive the boat down the lake a mile or so. They would then tie off to a good sturdy tree, and engage the steam winch to pull the boom down the lake untill the boom reached the Alligator and then it was repeated. I believe they still have an Alligator on display, as well as a steam Donkey similar to the one I modelled on display at the Algonquin Park Logging Museum.----Brian
    Brian Rupnow

  • #2
    And your going to build one???? Right on
    Ernie (VE7ERN)

    May the wind be always at your back

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    • #3
      Cool ,sweet, and nice enough to take interest in these old beauties. Alistair
      Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dockrat
        And your going to build one???? Right on
        Nah, I'm not going to build one---Just thought it was very interesting. Hell, I'm impressed that there was a time when we actually BUILT THINGS in Canada!!!
        Brian Rupnow

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        • #5
          I am always in awe of our forefathers solution to life's problems with the technology available to them. But I am positive they would be more amazed to see where we are now! At 76 yrs , I continue my battle with trying to keep up with it. What is coming Next. Bob.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the interesting posting!!

            i read a book about the Alligators in Ontario's bush country, fascinating times, most of them were built down in Simcoe Ontario, just can't remember the company name, but think it was a guy named "Peachy" ??

            Massive timber frame in them, along with some very thick steel flat bar on the bottoms.
            Back a few years ago there was a fight between Conaught and Martin river over an alligator, it ended up in court, and after it being trucked to Martin River at great expense, the court ruled it belonged to Conaught, and had to be trucked back there AGAIN!!
            Apparently is is still sitting in Conaught, uncovered and slowly rotting away, dispite the claim that they were going to restore it.

            Many areas of N. Ontario were logged by alligators.

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