Aboard the Giant Sand-Sucking Ships That China Uses to Reshape the World

From this:

As steam power gave way to diesel in the late 19th century, the size and power of dredges grew. Developers in Los Angeles used centrifugal pumps to expand the city’s port and turn marshlands into seaside real estate. Sediment dredged from underwater built Boston’s Back Bay, as well as large portions of Marseilles, Mumbai, and Hong Kong.

Vulcan produced dredges in the nineteenth century, as you can see here, although they were dragline dredges, not like the ones described in this article.  And of course Vulcan’s interest in China is documented here.

General Arrangement of Machinery for Steam Dredge #1 (Vulcan’s naming/numbering system wasn’t very imaginative, but it got the job done.) The dipper (bucket) at the right swung from the boom that came off of the bow of the dredge, filling itself up with the lake, river or canal bottom soil as it swung.

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