Unloading a collier
This is a good illustration of what was known as 'whipping', the classic way of unloading coal in particular but also similar loose cargo or ballast. The vessel is probably a north-eastern collier brig on which a jeer has been rigged, footed at the base of the main mast. At the peak of the jeer is a large metal pulley with a four-tail 'whip' to the hoist by which the men heave a basket of coal from the hold and discharge it down a shute into a lighter alongside. In the mid 19th century as many as 600 colliers might be seen on any day in the Pool of London. They were sturdy and flat-bottomed and many illustrations also show them in more rural locations, beached at low tide and whipping coal into horse-drawn carts driven out on the foreshore.
John Augustus Atkinson
- Image reference: D4725
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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