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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cape Giradeau in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Dwarfing the Titanic

Did you Know?

 
 
Dwarfing the Titanic Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 12, 2012
1. Dwarfing the Titanic Marker
Inscription. Deep-water ships cannot sail the Mississippi River. The river is frequently too shallow, and its strong currents would play havoc with ships designed to navigate oceans. At its headwaters, the Mississippi is less than three feet deep. Nor could we imagine a ship the size of the ill-fated Titanic managing to make the numerous turn of the Mississippi River.

However, the barges and their accompanying towboats that travel the Mississippi today are actually larger than the Titanic. The Titanic was 880 feet long and 92 feet wide. A typical middle-Mississippi River tow with towboats and barges averages 1,200 feet long and 200 feet wide. Imagine steering that!

Elsewhere in the world, towboats are called pushboats, because they push rather than tow their barges. Along the Mississippi River, barges were originally tied to the sides of steamboats and towed. The name eventually stuck. As more barges were pushed rather than towed, stern-wheel "paddle wheelers" replaced side-wheel boats. All paddle wheeler were eventually replaced by diesel-powered propellers in the 1930s. The diesel engines can produce 10,000 horsepower. The Titanic's 29 boilers could produce 50,000 horsepower.

Each barge can carry 1,500 tons of cargo- about 60 times more than a single tractor trailer. A towboat
Dwarfing the Titanic Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, August 12, 2012
2. Dwarfing the Titanic Marker
with its typical load of barges can carry as much as a line of tractor trailers 50 miles long.

The modern towboat is well-equipped for navigating the river. Detailed river maps, computers, depth finders, color radar and GPS systems make traveling the river safe and efficient.
 
Location. 37° 18.198′ N, 89° 31.072′ W. Marker is in Cape Giradeau, Missouri, in Cape Girardeau County. Marker is on North Water Street. Touch for map. Marker is along the waterfront. Marker is in this post office area: Cape Girardeau MO 63701, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Captains of Industry (within shouting distance of this marker); 1958 (within shouting distance of this marker); Literary Giants/Missouri Mule (within shouting distance of this marker); Nature's River (within shouting distance of this marker); Mark Twain /Missouri Generals/ George Caleb Bingham (within shouting distance of this marker); Visionary Women/Entrepreneurs (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 1927 (about 300 feet away); 1918-1919 (about 300 feet away).
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 2, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 30, 2017, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 68 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 30, 2017, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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