Letter from Sydney S. Durfee to Edward B. Talcott Concerning a Scow Scraper

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Mr. Talcot Esqr Chief Engineer M & I Canal Chicago June 11. 1848

Dear Sir
At the suggestion of Mr. Scovell I take the liberty of sending you a plan for a scow scraper for taking out bars in Canal

A scow, say 50 feet long and 14 ft. wide, sides about 2 feet high decked about 18 inches above bottom with a recess 4 feet wide & say 20 feet long in the middle to admit a scraper suitable for taking up Earth, the handles of the scraper to be made fast at one End of recess and a windlas over the other End with chains attached to the scraper allowing it to drop down through the recess to the required depth, and to raise the scraper to the deck when filled with Earth, a Pully on the forward End of the scow where a rope passes through that has one End made fast on the bank and a yoke of oxen on the Towing path to the other End, to moove the scow forward, to fill the scraper, some stakes attached to the sides of the scow will hold it fast while the windlas raises the scraper & the Earth shoved off onto the deck & the scraper, dropped down again, when the scow is ready to move ahead again The above is the principle & out line description a machine that has been used on the Erie Canal with good results --the scow is usefull as a Canal repearer without the scraper, & is cheap to build.

I have had some Experience on the Erie Canal and offer my services to you.

Your Obt. Servt.

S.S. Durfee