Canal Boats Carried Passengers in 1800s

Canal Boats Carried Passengers in 1800s

Did you know …   If you traveled in the1800s, you might have purchased tickets for a passenger boat (called a passenger packet) on a canal. Early travelers used these manmade water routes before trains became popular. Electric motors hadn’t been invented yet. Mules usually powered canal boats. Tied to a rope attached to the boat, mules walked along a towpath and pulled the heavy boats behind them. A towpath was a cleared path beside the canal. A mule driver (also called a muleskinner) walked next to the mules to guide them along the towpath. Teenaged boys often served as muleskinners. Often the ship’s captain also owned the boat. In addition to the captain, a steersman steered the boat, and the bowsman assisted the lockmaster at locks located along...

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