July 18, 2003

Boat ferris wheel

This is one of the craziest things I've ever seen. It looks like it should be a prop from a high-budget science fiction movie.

The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland is two sections of canal mounted in a gimbals on a pair of big swinging arms. Boats toodle into the canal, the end is closed off and the whole thing pivots around like a 2-car ferris wheel lowering one bucket of water and boats while raising another.

Capable of lifting 600 tonnes of water over 35m in less than four minutes, The Falkirk Wheel is powered by 10 hydraulic motors that turn the two caissons, each of which may accommodate up to four 20m long boats at any one time. Despite the scale of this power, each turn of The Wheel uses virtually no water and the same energy as just two boiling kettles.

(via Ken MacLeod's The Early Days of a Better Nation)

Referring to the "ferris wheel" it occurred to me for the first time that it was probably named after its inventor, and sure enough, it was. Here's a (pretty awful) poem about George Washington Gale Ferris and his invention.

Posted by jeffy at July 18, 2003 03:27 PM

that's awesome. I love the contour, and the architectural design.

Posted by: tyd at July 21, 2003 12:01 AM
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