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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Livingston Channel: 1910

Livingston Channel: 1910

Stony Island, Michigan, circa 1910. "Livingston Channel." Construction of the navigation channel along the Detroit River on an icy day. Panorama of three 8x10 inch glass negatives. Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Conquering the Hell-Gate

Technical World Magazine, March, 1909.

Conquering the Hell-Gate of the Lakes

By Len.G. Shaw

Using Stony Island, a marshy tract some few acres in extent, as a starting point, the contractors began construction of the largest cofferdam ever undertaken. Dredges were used in casting up the walls of rock and clay, taken from the river bed at various points in the new channel where excavation in the old way was comparatively easy. An area 2,800 feet in length and with an average width of 1,600 feet was enclosed by a wall some forty feet through at the base, reaching ten feet above the surface of the river, and at the top being wide enough to permit the laying of a narrow gauge railroad track if desired.

With the water out of the cofferdam, excavating was undertaken. Great towers, more than one hundred feet in height, and mounted on tracks permitting their being moved wherever desired, were erected 720 feet apart, being connected by cableways capable of sustaining a weight of ten tons, and on which ran ten-ton "skips" or trays, operated by compressed air and manipulated so that they could be dumped in midair without the slightest delay.

Channelers were put at work, these knife-like devices cutting courses through the rock lengthwise of the channel and some six feet apart. At regular distances across the proposed channel holes were drilled at angles, filled with dynamite, and the charge exploded. Then the sixty-five ton steam shovels were put in operation loading the skips, and the task of gouging out a channel through the solid Niagara limestone was well under way.

International Border

This channel is actually part of the border between the United States and Canada. Looks like they cut the island in half right down the border!

Love the heavy steam equipment!

If you transit this channel at night it looks just like an airport runway being so straight and lighted at the margins.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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