Experiments with Captain Fowke's pontoon bridge on the Serpentine, [London], 1860. 'The pontoon to be tested consists of an oblong framework of wood and iron, over which when fixed for use is drawn a surface of prepared canvas-each pontoon being portioned into eight compartments, all water-tight, so that while one of these divisions remains perfect the boat can never sink. When thus canvassed over it has the appearance of a large ship's boat, and can be at once launched. On its upper surface rafts are now fitted, and on those again are run the chesses or boards. Each pontoon being now complete, it will float with eighty men on its top, and then it only draws sixteen inches of water; while the time requisite to build a bridge of six pontoons is ten minutes, and to again dismantle the same five minutes. To each float of six pontoons is apportioned an extra one to serve as a boat in which is accommodation for twelve oarsmen...Perhaps one of the most commendable points of the exhibition was the soldierlike way in which the volunteers handled the gear and tackle of the pontoon; whilst the rapidity | evinced by them in launching, marching over, and then as suddenly dismantling the whole fabric, was something wonderful to behold.From "Illustrated London News", 1860.
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