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Columbia Canal (Columbia, SC)


Columbia Canal
* Columbia Riverfront Park * Columbia * South Carolina * National Register of Historic Places, No. 79002392 *

Interlaced within the heart of Columbia, South Carolina is a series of canals built in the early 1800’s by indentured Irishmen formed to provide direct water routes between the uplands and the lowlands along the fall line. Utilizing the Congaree River and Broad Rivers, it centers in the Columbia Riverfront Park where the canal is used to generate hydro-electrical power for South Carolina Electric and Gas company. Officially built in 1820 as a means for navigation and transportation along the rapids of the Broad River and Saluda river where they merge together to create the Congaree River. The canal was built in a natural ravine that existed between the city and the rivers, beginning between Lumber street (Calhoun street) and Richland street. It followed the Congaree for approximately 3 miles ending across from Granby Landing just north of the railroad bridges. Completed in 1824 it was 12 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep north of Senate street, and 18 feet wide and 4 feet deep south of there with a 8 foot wide towpath on either side. It had 4 lifting locks and a guard lock for the 34 ft descent of the river with a diversion dam across the Broad River to allow access from the Saluda Canal. Three waste tiers were built to prevent the canal from flooding, and this all linked into a separate canal called the Bull Sluice just north on the Broad River which had its own lock. By 1840 the state decided to drop its subsidy of the canal, and with the introduction of the 1842 railroads, its use declined. During the Civil war its hydro-electrical power was used to make gunpowder as well as for a grist mill run by the state penitentiary as well as a saw mill. By 1888 it was re-designed into a industrial power supply – revisions starting at Gervais street and extending 3 1/2 miles north along the Congaree and Broad Rivers, 150 feet wide and 10 feet deep with a new diversion dam, entry lock, and waste weir. In full use by 1891. Columbia Mill depended on it for textile production and was then utilized by the Columbia Hydro Plant built at its southern end producing power for the city, street railway system, and local industry.

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Electrical Outlets in the UK and Ireland …

The BS 1363
Used in the United Kingdom and Ireland

As an American travelling into Europe it never fails to overwhelm me that the entire world has different electrical systems, outlets, plugs, and methods in utilizing electrical current. Of course that’s common sense that everything should be different, but you would think in this day and age when the various cultures have merged, they would have found a meeting point so we’d all have one plug type. That day may never be seen, so we worldly travellers will have to stock up on the various adapters in order to effectively travel the world round. The ‘British Standard BS 1363’ is the most common domestic AC power plug and socket that you will find used in Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Malta, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Oman, Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Botswana, Ghana, Hong Kong, Jordan, Macau, Brunei, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Iraq, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Belize, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Grenada. and most of the British colonies (current or former). Ireland/Malaysia/Singapore have the equivalent standards IS 401 & 411, MS 589, and SS 145, respectively. These were introduced in 1947 after WWII as part of a new standard for electrical wiring in the United Kingdom. It is under Trading standards legislation in the United Kingdom and Ireland that requires that all domestic electrical goods sold there to be fitted with BS 1363 or IS 401 plugs. These areas also have other plug types in use such as the IEC 309 for industrial and some outdoor applications; and the BS 546 in older outlets. BS 1363 began to appear after WWII in 1946, converting from Britains old combination of 5 amp/15 amp round pin sockets where each had to be wired to the distribution board and provided with its own fuse. Due to the high wartime demands prior, Britain suffered a chronic shortage of copper and as a result, much of the housing stock was destroyed – and Britain was placed in the position to have to rapidly rebuild housing for its population wiring with as little copper as possible. This was the solution – a ring circuit system (aka ‘ring main’) where instead of each socket being individually wired – a cable was brought in from the circuit breaker in the board and wired in sequence to the number of sockets before returning to the board and wired to the same fuse or circuit breaker. This resulted in phenomenal savings from using copper to wire the circuits. Since the fuses had to be rated for the maximum current the ring could carry (30A/32A for breakers) – it was required the plugs used to connect to the ring containing their own fuse rated for the appliances that utilized it. The BS 1363 has two horizontal rectangular pins for live/neutral, above which is a larger vertical pin for the earth connection. The earth pin is necessary for use of the BS 1363 plug as it pushes open the shutter in the socket to allow the live and nuetral pins to be inserted, also polarises the plug, and making sure each live pin connects to the correct terminal in the socket. Low-power portable equipment like shavers are found in bathrooms and hotels with the 2-pin standard ‘shaver socket’ that accomodates both European and US 2-pin plugs. The BS 1363 is extremely child safe because of the shutters preventing foreign objects from accidental insertion. In addition, most of these sockets have on/off switches for power sustainability and conservation. There are adapter plugs available in order to plug in other appliances from mainland Europe and the US into this kind of socket. Inside of these are usually two metal clips where metal ends of the europlugs pins are clipped, shaped, and gripped to the Europlug.

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