oa Civil Engineering = Siviele Ingenieurswese - Screwdocks : an update

Volume 19, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1021-2000



The May 2010 edition of carried an article on the Barbados Screwdock being the oldest surviving shiplift in the world. That article was based on information obtained in Barbados and on a survey of the currently derelict facility. The historical information available was restricted to information from and about the island. Since then further, significant information has come to my attention that needs to be placed on record. It turns out that the screwdock concept and the shiplift system was a uniquely American invention of the early 19th century. Judging by the surviving descriptions and the remnants of the Barbados Screwdock, it was an invention that displayed all the elegant simplicity, practicality and ingenuity of the time and place of its inception.

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