Model Of The Weighlock Building In Syracuse, Ca 1850



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Model Of The Weighlock Building In Syracuse, Ca 1850

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Model Of The Weighlock Building In Syracuse, Ca 1850


Content Description: 

In the Erie Canal days, a weighlock was a lock designed to weigh cargo-carrying boats for the purpose of charging tolls. The heavier the cargo, the greater the toll. There were seven such weighlocks along the Erie Canal at Rochester, Syracuse, Oswego, Utica, Troy, Albany and Waterford.

The Syracuse Weighlock Building, which now houses the Erie Canal Museum, was built in 1850. It was not the first weighing station in the city. The first one, built in 1824, consisted of a chamber at the same level as the canal. There was no building enclosing the chamber and the weighing process was done by the water displacement method. Although the method was accurate, it was so misunderstood by canal boat captains that they called this type of weighlock, "little more than a guess pond."

A new weighlock was built in 1828, but the wood of which it was constructed deteriorated in only five years. The third weighlock, built in 1834, was the first weighing station to have a building along with it. It was more efficient, but, by then, the busy canal was being enlarged to be 7 feet deep and 70 feet wide and soon boats would clog the waterway. By 1845, toll collecting was at a peak and the weighlock could not handle the larger boats and heavy traffic.

The last weighlock was opened on July 22, 1850. It was designed as a simple two story red brick structure with a tin roof, in the Greek Revival style. The first floor housed the Weighmaster's office and sleeping quarters for the night men because the weighlock operated twenty-four hours a day. On the second floor were offices for engineers and repair superintendents.

Physical Description: 

Wood and paint
318 Erie Boulevard East,New York,Syracuse,13202