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Charles A. Vinscherer Civil Engineering Notebook

Identifier: SC MS 0122

Scope and Contents

Collection is a single notebook with seven tabbed sections. It is similar to the “Scizzen, Skizzen, Sketches” notebook of Philip Schopp (SC MS 0157) made in the same style of handwriting with fine black ink and notations and sketches of structures on the Schuylkill River Navigation system and the Louisville – Portland Canal (both companies employed Schopp). Although the title of the notebook has the date 1858, there are earlier notations as 1855 for the Felix Dam on the Schuylkill River to as late as 1881 (season of payrolls for Sept., Oct. and November referring to the Indiana chute on the Louisville - Portland Canal) included among the notes in the Estimates section.

Scope and Contents

Estimates. Cost of Lock Gates…, Section boat, Guard & lift lock, Dredging Mud In tide, Stouts (Stoudt) Ferry Bridge (built between 1856-1857 by Batcheler, Bowen & Wolverton as the longest single span wooden covered bridge in the world over the Schuylkill River near Tuckerton, Berks County collapsed into river September 12, 1948, also spelled as Stoudt Which is preferred spelling) , Felix Dam, Plymouth Dam, Dallman’s Classifications, Louisville & Portland Canal, Kanawah river, City of Louisville. Practical Rules. Dr. Muhlenberg’s Building, Blasting. General Experience. Light Bricks, Louisville – Portland operating the locks. Results from Works done. Felix Dam, Bridges. Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, Fascines, Leopold freshet canal. Carpenter. Blank Mason & Stonecutters work. Plymouth Dam, Union Canal, Louisville & Portland Canal, Beton. Smith & Tran.(?) Work. Blank.


  • Creation: 1855 to 1881


Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Charles A. Vinscherer was most likely an engineering student, apprentice, or visiting engineer. Among his notes he made attributions to a well-known American civil engineer Edward Duchman Muhlehberg (1831-1883) in the section on Practical Rules. In the section on Estimates mention is made of Martin Dallman, who was a supervisor for the Schuylkill River Navigation Company under James Smith.


1 box ; 20 x 17 cm.

Language of Materials



This manuscript describes observations and comparisons of various waterways engineering structures in eastern United States and the Rhineland of Germany. Detailed notations are made about the structures on the Schuylkill Navigation system above Reading, PA and the Louisville – Portland Canal system.


The notebook is arranged by seven tabbed sections: Estimates. Practical Rules. General experience. Results from works done. Carpenter. Mason & Stonecutter. Smith & Tran. work.

Related Materials

Moll, Fred J. Stoudt’s Ferry Covered Bridge. Philip Schopp sketchbook: Lehigh University SC MS 0157.

Charles A. Vinscherer Civil Engineering Notebook
Special Collections Staff
Finding aid information created October 2011
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Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)