Ralph Dodd trained as a civil engineer and was a man of vision, who, long before others gave it thought, begged people not to drink water from the Thames river, so injurious he thought it would be to their health.
- He was a publicist, who used the written word to draw people to his way of thinking. So it was, that he turned his attention to the congestion problem in the Thames waterway, in the latter part of the C18th.
- Dodd and others, saw, that to take goods over the narrow and massively congested,Tower Bridge was such a slow journey, that it made no commercial sense, especially if the goods first started their journey to the east of the Tower.
Dodd proposed a tunnel between Gravesend in Kent and Tilbury in Essex. Work began but came to a halt in 1803 after numerous engineering difficulties.
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