THE first steam-boat designed for the unimproved portion of the river Severn, has just made her trial-trip from Shrewsbury to Bridgenorth and back. She was built more especially for the purpose of towing vessels with materials for the Severn Valley Railway, now in course of construction. The little vessel made a successful trip with the stream, but found it a very different thing to make way against the current. Indeed, it was completely baffled in its attempts to get up the fords, of which there are a goodly number on the river, where the harder and more unyielding rocks form the bed. It was only by means of a towrope and the assistance of three or four men, that she succeeded.
Lower down the river, between Stourport and Gloucester, steam has been successfully introduced, and the horses and men employed previous to the construction of locks and weirs, have been completely superseded by steam-tugs. The river is navigable for 180 miles, yet two-thirds that distance is still in a state of nature, no attempt having been made to improve it.
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