Scottish Canals’ design history celebrated at V&A Dundee

Objects telling the story of Scottish Canals’ unique design and engineering history are to go on display at V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first museum of design, this weekend.

Scottish Canals have loaned two objects to the museum that highlight the incredible design and engineering ingenuity of Scotland’s canals. On display is an original diagram for the Monkland Canal’s Blackhill Inclined Plane, a precursor to The Falkirk Wheel, which used steam technology to carry boats over a height difference of almost 100 feet.

This stands alongside an architect’s model of The Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first and only rotating boat lift. One of Scotland’s busiest tourist attractions, The Wheel attracts visitors from all over the world keen to marvel at the working sculpture which combines modern engineering and technology with ancient principles set out by Archimedes more than 2000 years ago.

Spanning a period of some 150 years, these two objects help to showcase Scotland’s design and innovation heritage.

“We’re delighted that V&A Dundee have chosen to display two objects from our collections, which provide a real insight into the elegant design and engineering of Scotland’s canals. We are very excited that the public will be able to view these objects in such a beautiful space, and for the very first time.”

Angharad Stockwell, Records Manager at Scottish Canals

The only V&A museum in the world outside London, V&A Dundee will open its doors to the public on 15th September. Visitors will experience the remarkable story of design past, present and future, and the vital contribution design makes to all our lives.

To plan your visit or for more information please visit the V&A Dundee website.

Notes to Editors

• Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of five Scottish canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel. See or follow @ScottishCanals for more information

• The Forth & Clyde, Union and Monkland canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands, together extend over 137 miles from coast to coast, across country and into the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness

• Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, today the canals contribute to the Scottish Government agenda of developing a Greener; Healthier; Smarter; Safer and Stronger; and Wealthier and Fairer Scotland by acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, regeneration and tourism; contributing to education, biodiversity, heritage and promoting active living and healthier lifestyles

• Today Scottish Canals is utilising these 18th century assets along with innovative technology to tackle modern problems. Through working with partners to create pioneering systems, Scottish Canals is helping to combat flooding and driving positive transformation in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas

• The Forth & Clyde, Union, Monkland, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22 million visits per year.

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