The Cartographic Branch at the National Archives is home to over one million ship plans, with records spanning more than 15 distinct Record Groups and over 25 separate series. These drawings are among the most requested records from researchers in the Cartographic Branch. [Read more…] about Maritime History: Ship Engineering Drawings
The Adirondack Northway (I-87) made Lake George more accessible than any other resort area in the Northeast. So, it’s appropriate that the birth of the modern interstate highway system can be traced to Lake George; specifically, to the 46th Annual National Governor’s Conference, held July 11th to 13th, 1954, at the Sagamore Hotel in Bolton Landing.
To be precise, the Conference was the site not so much of the birth of the interstate highway system, but of the announcement of its birth. [Read more…] about The Adirondack Northway: Some History
Imagine the Mohawk River flowing with more force than Niagara Falls. Around 22,000 years ago, that’s exactly how it was. During the last ice age, the Laurentide Glacier began to melt, forming a large lake atop the glacier. As the glacier receded north, it opened access to the Mohawk River, which for thousands of years had been buried beneath the two-mile thick block of ice. Suddenly, all that lake water had somewhere to go.
The deluge of water that was released was so great that it carved an entirely new riverbed. It was so great in fact, that geologists gave the river a new name; the Iromohawk. Water rushed down the valley, carving away the cliffs of Clifton Park, the gorge at Cohoes, and the channel at Rexford. The river also curved back onto itself, creating the bend around Schenectady that the Mohawk follows today. [Read more…] about A Brief History of the Mohawk River
The Poesten Kill is a mid-sized stream that flows off the Rensselaer Plateau in western Rensselaer County toward the Hudson River. It tumbles through Barbersville Falls and winds its way through the towns of Poestenkill and Brunswick, before reaching the Great Falls above Troy. Below there it’s channeled into a long-abandoned canal (hence Canal Street in Troy) that flows into the Hudson.
In the earliest recorded times, fresh drinking water was acquired from the Poesten Kill and from a spring on Hollow Road in Troy (now Spring Avenue, later the farm of Stephen J. Schuyler). [Read more…] about The Poesten Kill: Healing & Healthful Waters
Starks Desivigna Dake was born May 9,1852. He died on November 10, 1937, at the family homestead in Middle Grove after a long illness. The Saratogian reported on November 11, 1937 that he was “Courageous to the last, he voted in the November 2 election at a polling place near his home.”
Starks was a member of one of the oldest families to settle in Saratoga County. He was the son of Benjamin C. and Mary Jane Carmen Dake. He attended school in Daketown and, in the winter of 1869-70, attended the prominent Fort Edward Collegiate Institute. In 1870 he won a scholarship to Cornell University, where he studied civil engineering. He left college early to teach school in Eddy’s Corners, South Corinth, Greenfield Center, Middle Grove, and Chatfield Corners in Saratoga County. In 1872 the enterprising Starks took up land surveying while still teaching. He would continue that occupation for the next 60 years. [Read more…] about Stewart’s Shops 19th Century Patriarch Starks Dake’s Saratoga Lake Canal Plan
John A. Roebling was born in Prussia on June 12th, 1806. Educated as an engineer, but finding the political unrest in his home country stifling, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1831 with a small group intent on establishing a community where technology could freely advance. They settled in Western Pennsylvania, establishing the community of Saxonburg. [Read more…] about The Upper Delaware’s First Suspension Bridge
For a long time Rotherhithe was London’s natural port, gaining its name from the Anglo-Saxon term for “landing-place for cattle.” There were shipyards in the area from Elizabethan times until the early twentieth century, and working docks until the 1970s. [Read more…] about Engineering Theatre: The Brunel Legacy in London & New York
Egbert Ludovicus Viele died on April 22nd, 1902 at the age of 77 in the city of New York after an eventful life that began in Waterford, New York.
He was born in 1825, son of Kathlyne Schuyler (Knickerboacker) and State Senator John L. Viele. The title of his newspaper obituary notice “Veteran of Two Wars and Indian Campaigns Passes Away” did little justice to his varied career, nor his personal foibles. [Read more…] about Egbert Ludovicus Viele: Engineer, Soldier, Politician
Appeals from officials in the Adirondacks of Upstate New York to President Calvin Coolidge in 1924 resulted in the reappointment to federal government service of “undoubtedly the greatest inventive genius that Essex County has ever produced.”
Benjamin R. Stickney, a Moriah Center native, was a chief engineer at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing when President Warren Harding dismissed Stickney and 27 other federal bureaucrats, without notice, on March 27, 1922. [Read more…] about Ben Stickney’s Press: A New York Inventor’s Piece of World Postal History
It was 71 years ago in May that the land for the Kenneth A. Kesselring Site began to be purchased to create the Atomic Energy Commission’s $20 million plant located in West Milton, Saratoga County, NY.
The Kesselring Site was built by the United States Government for the purpose of training nuclear officers and enlisted sailors to operate the United States Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines. [Read more…] about Kesselring Atomic Power Labratory: A Short History