Saturday, July 28, 2012

Steampunk fantasies of the North Atlantic

Brian Busby's Dusty Bookcase, an always-surprising blog on obscure editions of often obscure Canadian books, recently took note of an 1893 publication on the Chignecto Ship Canal, which leads him to an inventory of what he calls steampunk fantasy -- spectacular but never realized Canadian engineering projects. It draws on his recent article on the same subject in the current Reader's Digest.  (The article does not seem to be online. Come to think of it, an online Reader's Digest seems just wrong, somehow -- but there it is and why not?)

The Chignecto Ship Canal, a marine railway that would have linked the Bay of Fundy to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, never really got anywhere at at all, despite the prolific writings of Ketcham the engineer inventoried by The Dusty Bookcase.

Neither did the even more wierdly ambitious Montreal, Ottawa and Georgian Bay Canal project -- visions of enormous lakeboats proceeding down the Ottawa River  I don't know if that one has its own literature or if Brian takes up that one in RD, but you can read all about it in the Archives of Ontario.
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