Collections Catch of the Week: Wood Stave Pipe Section
Submitted by M.Lenz, Collections Assistant
Wood stave pipes come as long as 5 miles, but the section in our collection is about 30 cm. Wood stave piping wasn’t used inside the cannery, and it’s the only piece in the collection, so where this piece came from is a mystery, but it’s interesting older tech nonetheless.
Stave piping is constructed like a barrel, notched pieces of curved wood are joined together, and a metal band is tightened around them. The wood absorbs some of the water running through it and expands against the steel bands, creating an airtight seal, and the constant moisture keeps the wood from rotting. Stave pipes are very environmentally friendly, since they can be assembled from small pieces and don’t require large transport roads to be built to the site. So while we keep this as a remnant of past technologies, wood stave piping is still very much part of the present.
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