Product images of Unloading into lighters in the Upper Pool
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Unloading into lighters in the Upper Pool
This drypoint etching shows two steamers unloading their cargoes into lighters which were used to convey goods between the ships and the quayside. They took their name from this process of 'lightening' the ship. The lightermen secured the 'free water clause' allowing them to be exempted from charges in the enclosed docks that were built during the 19th century. They were thus able to enter the docks and receive or deliver goods directly to or from vessels. At the height of the port's prosperity some 6000 lighters carried cargoes to and from the docks and wharves of London.
William Lionel Wyllie
Original size: 188 mm x 279 mm
- Image reference: PW0706
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London