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Showing posts from August, 2019

The Mersey Flat's Role in the Coal Trade

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Coal, that was mined from pits in the Lancashire Coalfield, played an important role in the industrialization of North West England and Mersey flats were used to transport this valuable commodity from local collieries to the booming urban centers. Toll roads, such as the Prescot Turnpike, provided a more efficient means of transporting coal than the dirt roads that had preceded them. Road congestion, however, and the limited load-bearing capacity of wheeled vehicles as well as pack animals remained a problem. It was known that horses, which hauled cargo along the land routes, could tow heavier loads on water than they could along the roads. Mersey flats, which are believed to have first appeared on the inland waterways at the beginning of the eighteenth-century, were capable of carrying eighty-tons of coal in their holds. A series of artificial waterways were built to accommodate Mersey flats, which could operate under sail or be hauled along the towpaths, and coal was one of the most

A Brief History of the Brazilian Ironclad Tamandaré

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Tamandaré , constructed in 1865, was an armoured gunboat that was built for the Imperial Brazilian Navy. Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil, decided to modernise the navy by constructing an ironclad fleet that could withstand direct hits from explosive shells and solid shot. Paraguay, whose relationship with Brazil was deteriorating as a result of the civil war in Uruguay, possessed a series of fortifications along its rivers that were armed with some of the most powerful artillery pieces of the day. Unprotected warships, such as the wooden paddle steamers that participated in the Platine War, were vulnerable to these formidable weapons and the Empire of Brazil began to protect its ships with iron plates. The Crimean War and the American Civil War, fought on an industrial scale and utilising powerful new technologies, convinced the Brazilian government of the need to update the navy or suffer defeat at the hands of its enemies. Paraguay, a small country with vast ambitions, purchased Krupp ar