Breaking Stones with Feathers

Breaking Stones with Feathers (HM2GQ1)

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N 37° 32.228', W 77° 29.172'

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Inscription
The wall of granite ahead is the remnant of a small quarry. Granite from this site may have been used in the construction of the canal locks or canal arch in this park.

Quarrying was a major industry in Richmond during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The city's location on the Fall Line yields a natural abundance of this hard stone. Local granite can be found in old curbstones and sidewalks throughout the city and is a prominent feature throughout Shockoe Slip.

Look for a series of finger sized grooves along the edge of a piece of granite in front of you. These marks were made by a rock splitting techniques called the "Feather and Wedge" system.

A series of holes was drilled in a straight line where the stone was to be split.

Two "L"-shaped pieces of iron (called "feathers") were placed in the holes and a wedge was hammered down between them.

The feathers allowed the wedge to be loosened and pressure to be readjusted. When the pressure was even the stone would split in a straight line.

As you explore this park, try to find these marks on the walls of the canal and Pump House.
Details
HM NumberHM2GQ1
Tags
Placed ByLyn Newcomb
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, May 11th, 2019 at 8:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 280335 N 4157365
Decimal Degrees37.53713333, -77.48620000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 32.228', W 77° 29.172'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 32' 13.68" N, 77° 29' 10.32" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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