"I Bought this Barge for a Dollar!"

Listen to David Sharp's story about how he rescued a barge from under the George Washington Bridge.

Learn More

Visit The Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge.

The Ball Machine

The ball machine is an audio kinetic sculpture designed by George Rhoads. It is in front of the old fashioned oleo David uses as the backdrop to his juggling act.

Listen to the sounds of the ball machine. 



The Lighterage Era

David Sharps tells us about the Historic Lehigh Valley barge, the only surviving  wooden example of how they carried cargo, prior to bridges and tunnels, during the Lighterage Era from 1860-1960. The Lehigh Valley 79 barge is docked in Redhook, Brooklyn.

Learn More

For an in-depth look at the Lighterage Era, download the book The Lighterage System in the New York New Jersey Harbor. There you will find accounts of deck hands, tug captains, a barge captain and other maritime workers that were interviewed by Jane Steuerwald and Robert Foster in 1992.


This story has been condensed and edited from a longer interview.

Interviewee: David Sharps

Recorded: July 21, 2008, aired on January 2, 2009 on WAMC

Time Period: 21st century

Subjects: Waterfront Museum, Showboat Barge

Collection: StoryScape Radio Program

Credit: Literage Era photo by scottwbaker.com

Produced by Eileen McAdam, Narrated by Jim Metzner

Funded by: New York Council for the Humanities

Some Rights Reserved: This production including audio, text, and images, may be used for educational and research purposes as long as it is not altered in any way and is credited to The Sound and Story Project.

Transcript: coming soon

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