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Photographer's Note

The photo shows the Old Eider Canal at Kluvensiek near Rendsburg, the predecessor of the Kiel Canal. The canal opened in 1784 and formed the first connection between Baltic and North Sea. 3000 workers laboured for ten years under the most adverse conditions – not only did they have to battle boggy and rocky soil and high ground water levels, but also the “Bog-Fever” that killed about half of them.
In October 1784 the canal ship “Rendsburg” and a mail boat left Kiel on the first journey on the canal, each pulled along by four horses. The vessels had sails as well, but on this first journey the head winds were so strong that the ropes broke repeatedly and the ships hit the banks several times. Despite this they reached Rendsburg after two days.
As shipbuilders kept increasing the speed and the size of their vessels, the Old Eider Canal could not accommodate them any longer. In addition the Kaiser (Emperor Wilhelm II) demanded a route between the seas suitable for his navy. So in June 1895 the world’s largest deep-construction project – the Kiel Canal – was inaugurated with pomp and circumstance.

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Additional Photos by Harriet Kaehler (Kielia) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2443 W: 0 N: 6404] (22913)
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