Sailing barges and a steamer, with a power station in the distance
Thames barges were used to transport cargo around the Thames and Medway. They were very practical for shallow waters, often sporting retractable leeboards just below the gunwales. For many years they were a dominant feature of life on the river. Principally employed as cargo vessels, the largest were capable of carrying up to 300 tons. Coastal steamers and motorised barges gradually replaced them, but they remained a common sight on the Thames well into the 20th century.
William Lionel Wyllie
Original size: 252 mm x 351 mm
- Image reference: PV1680
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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