Display of a Weighmaster's Office



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Display of a Weighmaster's Office

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Display of a Weighmaster's Office


Erie Canal Museum

Content Description: 

The Weighmaster was in charge of calculating the weight and toll for canal boats. The manager at the Weightlock Building in Syracuse was one of seven weighmasters on the New York canals.

Canal boats were weighed every four years while empty. When they arrived in the Weighlock Building again with their cargo, they presented a Bill of Lading listing the boat's cargo by volume and its destination. The loaded boat was then weighed, and the weight of the cargo calculated, which was the difference between the weight of the boat empty and full of cargo. The amount of toll could thus be determined.

In sixty years of operation, $134,900,020.58 in tolls were collected to pay the cost of constructing, improving and operating the canals.

The Weighmaster ran the Weighlock, managing everything from hiring lock tenders and clerks to buying office equipment and paying bills.

318 Erie Boulevard East,New York,Syracuse,13202