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The following are occupations listed for residents of Phillipsburg NJ in the 1885 and 1895 West’s Guide to Easton and Phillipsburg associated with the Morris and Lehigh canals. Use this sheet to study the job each person performed.

Use the study guide below or download the Study Guide and then test your memory. Cclick here to download a Quiz. Check your results - download the Answers.

Canal Superintendent A person in overall charge of a section of the canal. Harbormaster

A person in charge of the day-to-day operation of a particular large boat basin or harbor. Clerk A keeper of shipping and pay records.Collector A collector of tolls for items shipped. Shipping Agent

A person who watches over the goods loaded onto and off of boats.Bookkeeper

Along with a clerk, a keeper of shipping, pay and expense records.Watchman

A person like a policeman who watches for any illegal activities on canal property. Engineer A person skilled in machinery design and operation.Shipwright A person skilled in the design and building of boats.Boat Builder A person skilled in building boats. Boat Caulker A laborer whose skill is in making the wooden boats waterproof.Laborer

A laborer might work on the canal banks, locks, planes, or buildings. They might do dredging, bank repair, weed cutting or other maintenance work as directed. They might also work in stables owned by the canal for the care and feeding of mules and horses. Carpenter

A person who uses wood in building or repairing bridges, buildings, locks, and Inclined planes. Painter

A person who paints the canal buildings, boats, bridges or other wooden structures.Canal master The Captain or person in charge of a canal boat. Boatman

A term used for any canal worker on a boat. They might even be the mule or horse driver.Ferry master

A person in charge of a ferry across rivers such as at the Easton to Phillipsburg crossing. Ferryman A person who actually rides on and operates the ferryboat.Plane Tender

A person in charge of operating the machinery of an inclined plane such as admitting water to the turbine chamber or reversing the gearing to raise or lower a boat. Brakeman

During early operation of the canal this person rode on the plane car to operate the brake mechanism. Lock Tender

A person who opens or closes the gates and wickets that allows a boat to be raised or lowered at a lock. Canal Foreman

A person in charge of a maintenance crew that would be building or repairing canal structures.Blacksmith

A person who made metal objects for canal buildings and structures. These may include nails, hinges, and other hardware. They also made shoes for mules and horses.Farrier

A person who applies shoes to mules and horses. They also cut hooves and attend to the well being of these animals.

Mule Driver

A person who either walked alongside or rode on the mule to keep it on the towpath and moving. This was sometimes a young person or child of the boat Captain.


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Books by James Lee

The Morris Canal-
A Photographic History

morris canal book
Currently Out Of Print -
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morris canal book

Available from
The National Canal Museum,
Easton, PA

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