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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.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

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The Great Locks: 1908

The Great Locks: 1908

1908. "The Great Locks, Chicago Drainage Canal, Lockport, Illinois." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Sanitary and Ship Canal

This narrow old lock is still there, but I don't think it is in use. A much larger, 100 foot wide lock was opened alongside it in 1933. About 10 million tons of cargo per year floats through Lockport.

The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal is on the route from Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River. If you want to circumnavigate the eastern United States, you have to go through Lockport.

Controlling Works

Annual Report of the Engineer and Surveyor
of the State of New York, 1905.

Report of William B. Landreth

On my return from Rock Island to Chicago, I visited the controlling works of the Chicago drainage canal at Joliet. The controlling works were built for the purpose of regulating the flow from the Chicago drainage canal so as to, at all times, induce a current of clear water from Lake Michigan into the drainage canal. The height of water in the canal is controlled by a "bear trap " dam and several large gates. The masonry in the piers between the gates is of concrete, faced with paving blocks up to a certain height, above which the piers are of brick. The foundations of the "bear trap" dam, the vertical walls along the sides and at the end of the drainage channel, the vertical walls along the tail-race of the power-house and an arch bridge over the tail-race, are all of concrete. Where expansion joints were placed in these walls no cracks have occurred, but where these joints are omitted irregular cracks, extending through the wall, have developed at intervals of about twenty feet. The attendant at the controlling works stated that no repairs had been made on the mason work since its completion in 1900, and at the time of my visit the concrete work was in good condition. The mortar in the brick work of the piers was badly washed out by storms, and presented a very unsightly appearance.

Dutch boy badly needed

I count at least a dozen places where a finger needs to be poked.

Bear trap dam

Still there:

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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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