SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Waterworks: 1906

Waterworks: 1906

Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1906. "New pumping plant on Ohio River." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!


The bridge isn't "standard" gauge but is instead about 5 foot between the rails. It was there to allow a special flat car to pull up at the siding (long since gone) and easily offload work equipment and supplies onto a small railcar which would carry the heavy items into that part of the plant.

Red tile was the style

from one side then the other.

[Terra cotta, they liked a lotta. - Dave]

Okay, next question.

What is the large wooden structure off to the left? Two tracks descend from the TOP of the building to the river. Some sort of barge drop? Looks like an old ice house of sorts, but likely isn't. Coal storage?

The Bridge Thing

is for a hopper to coal the boiler inside.

Standing Strong

Still there, although it must be nearly invisible from the road because of tree growth. The terra cotta must be impressive.

View Larger Map

Intake Building

This website has a nice description of the Cincinnati Water Works complex, including the reason the little Intake building was on the Kentucky side. The website lists the bridge's function as "Maintenance Access," and also has many photos of what the site looks like today. More trees now, other than that mostly the same.

"The complex consists of the pumping station on the Ohio side, an 85 foot deep shaft containing a huge steam pump, a tunnel beneath the river and the intake "castle." By the way, these coal fired steam pumps were in use until the 1960s and they are still there. They are some of the largest steam pumps ever construction. The Society of Industrial Archeology has visited and written up these pumps. It used to be possible to arrange for tours [to see the pumps] before 9-11 but no more; although the SIA did get in after 9-11. The intake was situated on the Kentucky side because the water works was built before the navigation locks and dams were put in. They had to have a nice deep spot where there was a good depth of water during all seasons and the channel ran along the Kentucky bank and that's where the deep water was. Normal pool stage at Cincinnati is 26 feet on the gage."

Colorized postcard

On the River

The was taken from the Kentucky side of the Ohio. The buildings are still there.

Knock Knock

"Who's there?
"Loco who?"

OK, I give up

What's the function of this bridge thing? The tracks seem to stop at the barricade, so what ran on the tracks?

Reminds me of Christmas 1942

... when under the tree I found a bright red metal case holding my first Erector set, complete with electric motor. What a great toy that was!

Art is where you find it

What craftsmanship and skill it took to design and construct that tile roof with the spiral courses that wind up the cone. Wow. And the angle is mirrored on the flatter roofing as well. I can't wait for more comments that may answer a multitude of questions I have about this place. Wonderful photograph!

SHORPY OLD 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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.