Kris De Decker

Back before the 1840s, many barges in the United States were dragged along canals by mules or horses walking along the bank. This wasn't a bad way of transporting cargo—the mules could carry ten times as much weight as they could hauling a cart on the road—but the method quickly became obsolete once railroads showed up. But now Kris De Decker has a fascinating, history-heavy piece in Low-Tech Magazine (oh yes) suggesting that if oil prices keep rising, or as energy conservation becomes increasingly important, the "trolleyboat" could make a comeback.

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