Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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Lock near Lockport, Illinois
Lock near Lockport, Illinois
TitleLock near Lockport, Illinois
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingMarch 10, 1929
DescriptionDrawing of new lock near Lockport, Illinois. This drawing is a part of the Robert E. Sterling Collection.
Title of ArticleLock installation completed
Date of ArticleMarch 10, 1929
Transcript of the ArticleWritten in pencil on bottom: "The new 3 million lock; 2 mi this side of Lockport." From Joliet Herald-News Sunday March 10, 1929 "This is the stately new lock of the Illinois waterway two miles south of Lockport, as it stands all ready for action, the very latest accomplishment of the big waterway project. Besides being a monument of progress showing man's untiring struggle to conquer showing the elements, the lock exhibits a peculiar beauty as it lifts its tracery of iron and dark masses against the sky. It has besides the distinguished feature of being one of the highest lift locks in the world. This does not mean that it is the largest lock, but that it has the highest lift, which is 41 feet. It is moreover 110 feet wide and 600 feet long and owns all the features of the Panama locks. And—in passing, it cost three millions to build, and three years to finish it. Well Worth Visit It is very well worth a visit, not only on account of these distinguishing characteristics, but because it is beautiful and massive as well as graceful to the eye, and its enormous utility soon to be tested stands unchallenged. And it is so suggestive to the imagination as well. It brings Joliet in touch with the romance of far away climes, in a way no other sort of contact can rival. It suggests the mystery of strange craft passing by Joliet's unaccustomed shores. It suggests the gayety of pleasure boats little understood here so far except by hearsay. But it will bring an entirely new life to thrill the hearts of those who until now have known only the delights, and the unromantic labors of land traffic, land journeys and joy rides. Two Sets of Gates The four lofty towers or lifts of the lock compass two distinct sets of gates. The upper gates are submergible, while the lower are mitre gates. The big gates are balanced by counterweights weighing 200 tons apiece, the gates themselves weighing 400 tons. Enormous chains pull up the counterweights. These do not show in the sketch, which was made from the north road on a parapet, or concrete way, at the north and a little west of the gates. Mysteries Are Explained Immediately west of the lock, not visible in the sketch, is a bear trap dam, which controls the water that flows over the dam. It is self operating in that the opening of a valve lets the water out, whereupon the iron dam sinks to the bottom and is raised again automatically by the pressure of water as it [illegible] up again. Pliny B. Brown, of the [illegible] house. Lights Chicago Streets The bear trap dam has a crest length of 160 feet, and an oscillation of 15 feet down from the elevation, in the parlance of the engineer. The dam is also counterweighted by suspended tanks containing water. Altho the dam can be operated by controlling the weight of these tanks, Mr. Brown says it is usually operated by varying the water pressure on the inside of the dam, thereby varying the upward trust on the top leaf or deck of the dam. The power house, another impressive place full of a magnificent activity, is at the west of the bear trap dam. ‘And this power, which is now used to light the streets of Chicago, is a by-product of the sewers of Chicago by some strange apposition, ' said the engineer."
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Physical Description30 cm. x 22.5 cm.
SourceClick this link for more historical information on the Joliet area - http://lewisu.edu/imcanal
Publisher (Digital)Lewis University
RightsAll rights held by Lewis University. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection at Lewis University at 815-836-5665.
CollectionAdele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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