Dockside Cranes

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The docks of Bristol in South West England used to be the home of huge dockside cranes like the ones pictured above. These very big steel machines are the remarkable and overwhelming pieces of evidence showcasing the highly prosperous harbour business in the place from the later 1940's up to the 1960's.


The prominent quayside cranes were exceptionally quick and those operating the heavy gears were so skilled enough to timely and efficiently cause the lifting, turning and and luffing in order to expedite the given jobs in a synchronized and corrdinated manner. The responsibilities of those drivers became more important considering the safety concerns of the other workers and laborers involved in crane and cargo operations in the port. Added to that was the fact that goods for shipment then were mostly in sack, packets or boxes and all had to be handled with utmost care to avoid merchandise damage. S & P manufactured all those sophisticated cranes which were designed, in a large part, to
All the cranes were made by Stothert & Pitt in Bath. S & P were pioneers of the use of electricity to drive cranes and came to specialise in dockside models like these - at one time, almost every port in the world had S & P cranes. These lifters were generally designed to raise objects weighing two to five tons. One dockside crane had a ten-ton capability. Somnetime in the month of November in the year 1974, the last trader call was served by these machines.1
The goods moved, loaded and unloaded by the dockside cranes in Bristol were varied, from fruits to coffee and cocoa, to nuts and beer and spirits, to tobacco and coal and even included ...
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