United States. Inland Waterways Commission.

Preliminary report of the Inland Waterways Commission. Message from the President transmitting a preliminary report online

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a safe passage for wagons and other carriages over the same.

The locks were to be at least 20 feet wide and 120 feet long, and

at all dams where there is not made a slope convenient for the passage of rafts of
timber, boards or scantling

such rafts, unless carrying merchandise, were to pass the locks free
from toll.

By supplementary act, passed in 1816, this company was author-
ized to commence improvements at any point on the river, but money
was not to be diverted from one section of the river to another. The
waterway was opened from Pliiladelphia to Mount Carbon in 1825. A
large and lucrative business was carried on the Schuylkill Naviga-
tion until the completion of the Reading Railroad into the coal
regions in 1842. In 1845, the company was empowered to build and
own boats and to rent or sell them, and to own cars to transport
freight by rail to and from the river. The company was not to engage
in transportation. In the same year the legislature authorized the
navigation company to appoint agents at any place in the United
States for transfer of the company's stock. This act expressly provided
that no loan of money or contracts made by any person with the com-
pany for the purpose of enlarging their works should be deemed to be
usurious by reason of a higher rate of interest than 6 per cent on such
loans. Beginning in 1846 extensive improvements were carried out;
but this expense, and the damage caused by the flood of 1850, forced
the company into bankruptcy and led to a reorganization in 1852.
In 1859 the company was empowered by the legislature to contract
for —

the transportation of anthracite coal and other articles upon their riavigation and to
and from points beyond the same and to include the charge for such transportation
in their charge for tolls.

The water route continued to be an active competitor for the traffic
until 1870, when the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad leased the
Navigation for a period of 999 years.

Relations with other carriers. — According to the statement of the
Schuylkill Navigation, this company operates its own works and is
not leased to any railroad company. The same schedule, however,
shows that the principal office of the company is the Reading Ter-
minal, Philadelphia; that out of 65,975 shares of preferred stock,
all but 106 are owned by the Reading Company (the holding company
for the Reading Railroad system), and that out of 13,270 shares of
common stock, the Reading Company owns 12,907 shares.

There are two important railway lines following the valley of the
Schuylkill, the Pennsylvania Railroad, with its own lines and con-
nections reaching the Eastern States, the Southern States, and the
Far West, and the Reading Railway, covering all important points in
southeastern Pennsylvania, the anthracite coal region, and with its
own lines extending to New York.

The Schuylkill Navigation is operated as a public highway of
the State. It is claimed that the navigation company has no con-



trol over and knows nothing about freight rates, except the piib-
hshed schedule for antliracite coal, and that the captains of barges are
at liberty to make their own rates both as to anthracite coal and
coarse freicrhts. In this connection it may be added that there are
only two classifications of freight on the navigation, namely, anthra-
cite coal and miscellaneous freight. Transportation appears to be in
the hands of individual captains, either owning their own boats or
operating under leases, the boats owned being kept in repair by the
navigation company. There is only one private line of boats, namely,
that owned and operated by Capt. Joseph Hendren, of 6619 Ridge
avenue, Roxborough, Philadelplua. It is claimed that the owners
and lessees of boats operated on the Schuylkill Navigation are not
connected in any way with railroads, and that the private line known
as Hendren's Line is not operated in connection with any railroad.
It is claimed that there is no prorating either with railroads or
transportation agencies, and that the Schuylkill Navigation has not
for many years, certainly not within half a century, received any aid
from the State of Pennsylvania ; that it has never received any aid from
the United States Government, and that neither the State nor the
United States Government has any financial interests in the Schuylkill
Navigation Company.

Traffic. — The greatest part of the traffic through this canal — some 75
per cent — is anthracite coal, the remainder being what is known as
coarse freight, including cordwood, slag, slacked lime, stone, and sand.
The anthracite coal tonnage is all southbound, as are also slag and
slacked lime. Cordwood, stone, and sand traffic is northbound. The
annual tonnage for ten vears has been as follows:


1897 72, 843

1898 66, 849

1899 83, 275

1900 73, 976

1901 80, 374

1902 103, 400

1903 64, 396

1904 62, 162

1905 59, 658

1906 ^ 54, 354

The articles of merchandise shipped over the canal in 1904 and 1905
were as follows:





Anthracite coal


47, 736















Slag .


Cordwood ... . ... ...




Slacked lime


Stone and sand

Vessels employed on navigation. — The number of vessels operated
on the waterway by agencies other than the Navigation Company, in
1904 and 1905, was as follows: Canal barges, 45 in 1904, 46 in 1905;
number of boats operated by the company, none in either year. It
appears that most of the boats are owned by the company, and
operated by individuals under lease.



Finances. — The authorized capital stock of the company is iinHm-
ited. The schedule of the company, furnished the Bureau of Corpo-
rations, shows that there are now 79,245.24 shares of stock, 65,975
being preferred and 13,270.24 being common stock, of the par value
of $50 each. Tliis makes the amount of capital paid in $3,962,262.
There have been no dividends during the past ten years. The bonded
indebtedness of the company is $8,494,872.86, represented by mort-
gages drawing 6 and 7 per cent.

The gross earnings for 1904 were $61,533.60; expenses, main-
tenance and operating, for the same year, $117,257.78. Loss on oper-
ating, $55,724.18. In this year a destructive flood damaged the works
of the company and caused a loss estimated at $50,000. In 1905, the
gross earnings were $65,725.74; expenses, maintenance and operating,
$68,722.18. Loss on operating, $2,996.44.

Tolls. — The follow^ing rates of toll on anthracite coal, per ton, in
cents, are from collieries in Shamokin, Mahanoy, Schuylkill, Lorberry,
and Lykens Valley district, in boats using the Schuylkill Navigation
from Port Clinton:







































Port Union and Unionvillo

Pottstown and Parkers Landing

Spring City

Black Rock Dam


Schuylkill Front


!• alls of Schuylkill


The above rates include steam to^vdng between Fairmount Locks
and wharves on Schuylldll Front. They also include loading and
trimming but are exclusive of the cost of unloading. If coal is shipped
in leased boats, a propoirtion of the freight rate for boat installment
is collected from the shipper with the tolls and noted on the captain's
bill of lading as so much freight advanced. There are local rates on
miscellaneous freight wliich are unimportant. The tolls allowed
under the charter are prohibitory under business conditions which
have prevailed for many years. The present tolls are adjusted to meet
present conditions and are lower than the charter rates, and are fixed
by the general manager of the company. The printed sheets are
posted for the information of the public at collectors' offices and at all
lock offices on the line of navigation.

Recent improvements. — The only canals connected with this
navigation are those connecting the pools created by dams in the
river. The navigation was enlarged in 1835 and 1836 to a 5-foot depth,
and again in 1846-47 to 6^ feet, wliich is its present depth. During
the past few years 2 new dams — No. 18 and No, 31 — have been
rebuilt, replacing old structures, and one dam — No. 22 — has been
partially rebuilt and strengthened. A permanent concrete super-
structure has been ])uilt for the cut stone aqueduct crossing Alle-
gheny Creek. Dam No. 25 and the connecting canal and the mechani-


cal structures on the first level of the Giranl Canal have been rebuilt
and enlarged to adapt them to water-power installation. No addi-
tions have been made to floating equi])ment, except one steam tug.
Ojyinion of manager.— Mr. E. F. Smith, general manager of the
Schuylkill Navigation, makes the following statement:

The disposition for forty years past has been for manufacturing establishments to get
away Irom the river and locate on the railway lines, where they can have siding con-
nections, not only for handling coal vised for steam purposes, l)ut for shipment of
manufactured products as well. There is no disposition on the part of the manufactur-
ers, even at lower rates prevailing on canals, to use them.

The tendency more and more is to use the railway lines, not because the service is
better, but because it is more convenient. It is easier and better to handle a car put
on a siding at the factory, or mercantile establishment, than it is to unload a cargo from
a canal barge and haul it to the factory. In handling by rail the consignee has only to
deal with the agent of the railway company, from whom he obtains the service, and to
whom he pays the freight charge. In handling by canal he must make two settlements,
one Avith the indi\'idual captain for freight and the other with the canal company for
tolls. It is this complex process as much as anything that has hurt the business on the
water lines.

I have, myself, to-day a carload of machinery coming from a point on the Erie Canal,
which I prefer to have come by rail, because it will be placed for me on a siding in the
city of Philadelphia, adjoining the plant in which it is to be used, and in every way it
is more convenient and more satisfactory than if it could have been shipped via the
Erie Canal to New York City, and there transferred to the Clyde Line, reaching
Philadelphia by water.

I am unable to suggest what would increase the efficiency and usefulness of the
Schuylkill Navigation beyond what we are now doing, namely, to sell or lease under
the provisions of its charter the water power of the river, and to continue to serve by
the carrying of coal and freight such local industries as are still located upon its

There has been little or no increase in these industries in the past quarter of a cen-
tury. In fact they have rather decreased, and the larger ones which for many years
past depended upon the canal for transportation facilities have withdrawn and are
now served by one or the other, or both of the railways with the more convenient siding

Traffic upon the canals has therefore decreased naturally and not through any efforts
on the part of the railroads to bring about the change. On the contrary it has been
brought about by the disposition of both the consignor and consignee to use the more
modern way of doing business as being easier and more convenient in every way.

As to the Schuylkill Navigation the depth of water is too little and capacity of
the barges too small, to enable it to compete any longer with railroads using 80,000
and 100,000 pound capacity cars, either in tonnage or in the convenience of handling
and delivering to shippers.


Description. — The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal extends from
Delaware City on the Delaware River, in the State of Delaware, to
Chesapeake City (Back Creek on Elk River) , head of Chesapeake
Bay, in the State of Maryland. The length of the canal is 13| miles,
12 of which are in Delaware and the remainder in Maryland.
There are no branches.

Work on the canal was begun in 1824 and the canal was opened for
navigation in 1829. There are 3 locks, each being 24 feet wide and
220 feet long. The surface width of the canal is 66 feet, and vessels
of 9 feet draft can pass tlii'ou^h the waterway. The motive powers
employed on the canal are tug boats and mules. All bridges are open
drawbridges, so there is no necessity for striking topmasts. The
cost of construction, according to the schedule of the company
received by the Bm-eau of Corporations, has been about $4,000,000.


The original cost, according to the Agnus Commission of 1906, was
$2,250,000, of which one-fifth was paid by Congress, $100,000 by
the State of Pennsylvania, $50,000 by the State of Maryland, $25,000
by the State of Delaware, the remainder bemg contributed by the
citizens of the tln'ee States.

The canal is usually open nearly the whole year, and not only short-
ens the distance between Baltimore and Philadelphia, but forms an
important link in the system of inland waterways between the North
and the South.

History. — The Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company, the
owner of this waterway, was incorporated under the laws of Maryland
December 7, 1799, and under the laws of Delaware and Pennsylvania
January 29, 1801, and February 19, 1801, respectively. The original
authorized capital stock was $500,000. The State of Maryland
in 1812 subscribed for $50,000 of the capital stock, at a par value of
$200 per share. (Value of shares reduced in 1867 to $50 per share.)
The number of shares now held by the State of Maryland is 1,625.
The United States Government subscribed $450,000 to the enter-
prise, which has been increased by stock dividends to 14,625 shares.
The present amount of stock outstanding is $1,903,238.50, all of
which is common. The bonded indebtedness of the company is
$2,602,950, drawing 4 per cent interest. No dividends have been
declared since 1876.

Financial. — -According to the statement of the canal managers,
fiu-nished the Bureau of Corporations, the net and gross earnings of
the compan}^ for 1904 and 1905 were as follows:



Revenue earned



Expenses paid

62, 533. 92

Net revenue


105, 498. 51

Tolls. — According to the toll sheet of the company tolls are
charged on weight. The weight includes that of the package and
its contents. The packages are requned to have their weight marked
thereon. In the absence of such marks the collector of tolls is
authorized under the rules of the company to take such packages as
"Not enumerated and unknown" and charge accordingly. The
rates of toll are specified with great minuteness in 12 pages of the
toll sheet, and there are special rates of toll on vessels to and from
Norfolk, York River, and points south.

The following statement shows the rates on some of the more
important freight passing through the canal:

Agriciiltural productions, not enumerated (per bushel, 2 cents), per 1,000
pounds $0. 35

Agricultural implements, not otherwise mentioned per 1,000 pounds. . . 40

Apples (per barrel, 3 cents) per ton. . . 30

per cubic foot 02

per keg 04

per one-half barrel 06

per barrel 10

per tierce 30

per hogshead or crate . . .50
1 per 112 pounds 10

Bacon, beef, and pork (per barrel, 8 cents) per 1,000 pounds. . . 20

Articles of merchandise, not enumerated and un-
known, in boxes or bales


Boats, empty steamers, vessels, and barges:

Under 40 tons register tonnage each. . $4. 00

40 tons and under 80 tons, tonnage do. . . 6. 00

80 tons and under 120 tons, tonnage do. . . 8. 00

120 tons and over, tonnage do. . . 10. 00


Common per ton . . .20

Fire do 30


Box cars each. . G. 00

Small dump cars do — 2. 00

Platform cars do. . . 3. 00

Coal per 2,240 pounds. . . 20

Cotton yarn per 1,000 pounds. . . 45

Fertilizers (guano, tankage, muriatic, potash, and other chemicals for ferti-
lizers) per 1,000 pounds. . . 25

Floiu- and corn meal (per barrel, 6 cents) per ton . . .40

Grain :

Wheat per bushel. . . 01

Rye, corn, barley, and malt do 01

Oats do 0075

Ice per ton. . .30


Pig, blooms, old, or scrap do 20

Castings of all kinds (except stoves and pipes) per 1,000 pounds. . . 16

Lumber (boards, planks, and scantling in vessels and floats, board meas-

m-e) per M feet. . . 30

Machinery per 1,000 pounds. . . 25

Naval stores (rosin, Carolina pitch, turpentine (per barrel, 5 cents) do 18

Oil (petroleum or coal oil, per barrel, 6 cents):

In bulk per 2,000 pounds. . . 20

In 80-pound cases each . . . 015

All other kinds per barrel . . .09

Salt (per bushel, 1 cent; sack, 3 cents) per 1,000 pounds. . . 15

Sewing machines each. . . 40


Cedar, above 2 feet per M . . .30

Cedar, 2 feet and under do 25

Pine and cypress, above 2 feet do 20

Pine and cypress, 2 feet and under do 15

Slate per M. . .15

Sugar per 1,000 pounds. . . 20

Tar, North Carolina per ton. . . 30

Tomatoes 10 baskets. . . 06

Tobacco :

Leaf per 1,000 pounds. . . 35

Manufactured do 45

Watermelons '. per 100. . . 25

Wool per 1,000 pounds. . . 40

A rule of tlie company requires that —

All loaded vessels must present bill of lading or pay toll on cargo as estimated by
company's collector. Consignee's certificates of the total cargo as discharged must be
returned to collector for adjustment of tolls.

Vessels that do not pass through the entire canal pa}^ as follows:

For passing from any place on either level to another place on the same level,
quarter tolls.
From any part of the upper level to the lower level, half tolls.
From the upper level to either side locks, three-fourths tolls.
For passing both locks of the upper level, full tolls to be charged.
From the Delaware River, to any place short of the 4-mile post, quarter toll.
To St. Georges, below the lock, half toll.

A regulation of the company requkes that tolls shall be paid at the
fu'st lock passed by vessel, on payment of which the master receives a
pass bill setting forth the amount of tolls paid and the time of entering.
This bill must be exliibited to the keeper of each lock before passing



the same, and must be surrendered to the collector before entering the
last lock. Vessels applying for passage out of the canal and exhibit-
ing no pass bill are required to pay full toll for the whole canal.

Another regulation prescribes that for any vessels passing through
the canal without paying the prescribed tolls either of the collectors
is authorized by law —

To seize such vessels wherever found and sell the same at auction for ready money;
which, so far as necessary, shall be applied toward paying the said tolls and all the
expenses of seizure and sale and to enforce the penalties.

No vessel is allowed to carry sail on the canal, nor may any vessel
of any description pass through the canal or any part of it at a rate
exceeding 4^ miles an hour, except by permission of the president of
the board of directors.

No vessels are allowed to use steam on the canal, except by permit
issued from the office of the company, which reserves the right at
any time to withdraw the privilege of so using steam.

Towage. — The rates of towage for sailing vessels and barges
through the canal, including all lock towing, according to the sheet
of the Canal and Back Creek Towing Company, are as follows:

Table 90 — Rates of towage, Chesapeake and Delaware Canal

Sailing Vessels.



Under 20 tons, custom-house register

20 tons and under 30 tons

30 tons and under 40 tons

40 tons and under 50 tons

50 tons and under 00 tons

60 tons and under 70 tons

70 tons and under 80 tons

80 tons and under 90 tons

90 tons and under 100 tons

100 tons and under 110 tons

110 tons and under 120 tons

120 tons and under 130 tons

130 tons and under 140 tons

140 tons and under 150 tons

150 tons and under 160 tons

160 tons and under 170 tons

170 tons and under 180 tons

180 tons and under 190 tons

190 tons and under 200 tons

200 tons and upward


Under 250 tons

250 tons and under 275 tons

275 tons and under 300 tons

300 tons and under 325 tons

325 tons and under 350 tons

350 tons and under 375 tons

375 tons and under 400 tons :

400 tons and under 425 tons

425 tons and under 450 tons

450 tons and under 475 tons

475 tons and under 500 tons

500 tons and under 525 tons

525 tons and under .550 tons

650 tons and under 575 tons

575 tons and under tKK) tons

600 tons and under 625 tons

625 tons and under

Online LibraryUnited States. Inland Waterways CommissionPreliminary report of the Inland Waterways Commission. Message from the President transmitting a preliminary report → online text (page 29 of 83)