The Tidal Lock

The Tidal Lock (HMKX2)

Location: Bristol, PA 19007 Bucks County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 5.631', W 74° 51.481'

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Inscription

1832 - 1931

"Coal boats consigned to Philadelphia and adjacent ports were assembled in the river outside the tide lock in rows of up to twenty-one boats, three abreast, to be taken down the river by steamboats. The departure of these tows was scheduled to take advantage of the ebb tide in going down the river and the flood tide upon the return trip."
C.P. Yoder
Delaware Canal Journal

Timing is Everything
The Tide Lock was the first lock from the Delaware River into the Canal system. Unlike other Locks that accommodate changes in land elevation, this Lock accommodated variations in water elevations with the tide. Tide fluctuations in the Lock was 5.5 feet.

Canal schedules in Bristol revolved around the tide table as the Lock at this location made the most of the rise and fall of the River. At high tide, boats floated easily through the Lock and into the Canal for the trip upstream. When the Lock opened at low tide, water swept boats waiting in the Canal Basin into the River to continue their voyage downstream. With the inflow or outflow of tidal water, a strong current was available to propel the boats, so that mule power and a tow path may not have been necessary, depending on direction.

Today
The approximate location of the Canal is marked as blue bollard markers in the trees. Spring flowers are planted as ground cover between the markers. The markers note the edge of the water, and where the markers narrow in distance is the approximate location of the Tide Lock. The width of the Lock was 22' so it could handle two boats simultaneously. It was 100' long. Because this portion of the Canal was filled-in long ago, it is difficult to pinpoint the precise location of the Tide Lock.

The bullseye emblem displayed on boats represented the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company.
Details
HM NumberHMKX2
Tags
Placed ByBristol Borough, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 12:06am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 512103 N 4438183
Decimal Degrees40.09385000, -74.85801667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 5.631', W 74° 51.481'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 5' 37.86" N, 74° 51' 28.86" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)215, 267
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 588 Canals End Rd, Bristol PA 19007, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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