Messing About in Boats, Boots, and Byways:

Industrial Strength Dockware


International Railroad Bridge to the past

    Winter 02: This unassuming little piece of dockware started me thinking about all the rusted and otherwise well-used and long forgotten hardware along the waters of western New York.

    There is beauty in the form of these things I call Industrial Strength Dockware, and their form follows their function at the same time. Some are curved to spare the ropes that were bent to them, but some of the curves are for show and art, too.

    The piece that I found at the International Railroad Bridge was a hybrid -- not bollard and not cleat, but something of both.

    On the American side, I have yet to see any such shop-made dockware.

On a cold and clear day in winter, we went over to the Canadian side of the Niagara River to take some pix. Stopping for some reason at the International Railroad Bridge, almost directly across from our neighborhood in Buffalo, I noticed this rusted cross between a bollard and a cleat. Someone had cut off a piece of 10-inch steel pipe, filled it with concrete and welded on a couple of ears. Add a steele plate base, bed bolts in more concrete, and it was done.

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