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No. 127.


September 20,1867.




SYRACUSE, Sept. 18, 1817.

TO THE Hon. WILLIAM A. WHEELER, President of the Constitutional

Convention :

SIR-I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of resolutions in language as follows:


ALBANY, N. Y., Sept. 10, 1867.


"On motion of Mr. Bell:

Resolved, Tbat inasmuch as the question of an early enlargement of the locks on the Erie, the Oswego, and the Cayuga and Seneca canals depends, in a great degree, upon the present capacity of the existing locks to accommodate the present and prospective business of the country, and inasmuch as the reports and documents submit[Con. No. 127.]


ted to this Convention contain conflicting views and recommendations as to the necessity of such improvements, the Canal Board is hereby requested to make, or cause to be made, such examinations, and subject the locks upon the Erie canal, or some one or more double locks thereon, to such tests as will determine the actual working capacity thereof, and report the result of such investigations at the earliest day possible to this Convention.

Resolved, That as a part of the investigation directed to be made, the greatest width of each boat passing the locks tested, be taken and reported.

Resolved, That if the Canal Board is not in session, the inquiries be referred to Canal Commissioner Hayt.

"By order,


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Pursuant to the requirements of the foregoing resolutions, a test was made, commencing at a quarter past six o'clock, on the morning of the 17th inst., and continuing, without interruption, during the succeeding twenty-four (24) hours.

Double lock, No. 49, of the Erie Canal, located at Syracuse, was selected for the purpose, it being one of the most, if not the most difficult of any upon the Erie canal for fully laden boats to enter. This is one of the five locks on the Erie canal, having an upward lift for eastward bound boats, said locks being numbered respectively, 47, 48, 49, 51 and 52. The list of this lock is six feet; and here, let it be stated, that it was found, during the progress of the test, that locks 47 and 48, about one mile east, and each having a lift of ten and one-half feet, were fully capable of passing, and did pass, all the boats locked at lock No. 49, and as rapidly as at that lock.

A detention to navigation having occurred the previous evening, there were awaiting lockage, when the test commenced, fifty laden boats, eastward bound, and thirty light and partially laden boats, westward bound. During the first six hours there was no extra force employed, but during the succeeding six hours an extra team was engaged in assisting boats into the berme lock. During the succeeding twelve hours only the usual force was employed. At midnight the crowd of boats was dispersed, and for the balance of the time only the ordinary lockages were made. There were fifty

two lockages during the first six hours; sixty-two lockages during the second six hours, and eighty-four lockages during the following twelve hours, making a total of one hundred and ninety-eight lockages for twenty-four hours. It is, perhaps, proper that I should express the opinion that the lockages during the first twelve hours, may have been somewhat larger than can be relied upon for an average for an entire season; but I am fully convinced that the lockages for the twenty-four hours can be taken for a fair average, under all circumstances, of what may be done throughout the season.

The accompanying tabular statements exhibit the result of the examination and test in detail:

Table No. 1 shows name of boat passed, hailing place, greatest width of boat, direction moving, which lock used, (whether towingpath or berme), time each boat consumed between "locking distan. ces,” i, e. two hundred feet from each end of the lock. By this table it will be seen that the average is 641 minutes.

Table No. 2 shows the actual time consumed by each boat from its entrance into to passage out of the lock. Time taken from the moment stern of boat crossed line of gates in entering till it passed line of gates in leaving. Only fifty-six boats were so timed, but the observations were sufficient for the purpose of arriving at an average of the time consumed by a boat in the lock. The average is 57 minutes.

The general average for the twenty-four hours is—(1440 minutes: 198 boats, =) 778 minutes. The average for the first twelve hours is (720 minutes=114 boats, =-) 61minutes.

Of the 198 boats passed, 104 were eastward bound, with an aggregate freightage of 19,716 tons. 94 were westward bound, with an aggregate freightage of 3,131 tons. The average tonnage for eastward bound boats is (19,716-104=)1897. The average tonnage of westward bound boats is (3,131-94=)33 25.

The Hon. E. S. Prosser of the canal committee, witnessed the tests and examinations as made, and which were intended to be such as should clearly and correctly exhibit the working capacity of the lock. The result of the trial is herewith appended in detail.

Respectfully submitted,

S. T. HAYT, Canal Commissioner.

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