Bucket dredger Triton. This model was built at the Christel Stührmann workshop in a scale of 1:50. It is on display on deck 9 of the museum, in our section dedicated to the history of fluvial navigation.
Dredging is a term that refers to the lowering of the seabed or waterways to make them navigable or keep them that way by eliminating the sediments that accumulate in them. This is a common activity in ports, navigable rivers, and channels. There is historical evidence of dredging that goes as far as 4.000 BCE in the mouth of the river Nile. A big step in dredging technology was taken when the French public works contractor Alphonse Couvreux had the bucket chain excavator patented in 1860. This invention, who also can be used in open pit mines and quarries, was paramount for the realization of the Suez Canal. When installed on a vessel, the machine is called a bucket chain dredger. An endless chain of buckets is lowered to the surface that must be excavated. The buckets carry the materials to the top of the chain where they fall in a container or a chute, which transports them to a container.
This example from our exhibition is the Triton, built at the Stettiner Oderwerke Aktiengesellschaft für Schiff- und Maschinenbau, Stettin-Grabow in today’s Szczecin (Poland) in 1941 for the construction company Philipp Holzmann AG. This large bucket dredger was 52 meters long and 9,5 meters wide. Each of the buckets in her chain had a capacity for 650 liters of sediments. The chain had the capacity of dredging to a depth of 18 meters below the waterline. The sediments were automatically unloaded into a barge through the pipeline you can see on the port side (left) of the dredger. The bucket chain dredger has become rare nowadays, rendered obsolete by more flexible and mostly better performing vessels like the trailing suction hopper dredger.
This model of the bucket dredger Triton was built at the Christel Stührmann workshop in a scale of 1:50. It is on display on deck 9 of the museum, in our section dedicated to the history of fluvial navigation.