Online Encyclopedia

WHARF

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 574 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WHARF, a place for loading or unloading ships or vessels, particularly a platform of timber, stone or other material along the shore of a harbour or along the bank of a navigable river against which vessels may lie and discharge their cargo or be. loaded. The O. Eng. word hwerf meant literally a turning or turning-place (hweor fan, to turn, cf. Goth. hwairban, Gr. Kapa6s, wrist), and was thus used particularly of a bank of earth, a dam which turns, the flow of a stream; the cognate word in Dutch, well, meant a wharf or a shipbuilder's yard, cf. Dan. vaerft,, dockyard, and the current meaning of the word is probably borrowed from Dutch or Scandinavian languages. In English law all water-borne goods must be landed at specified places, in particular hours and under supervision; wharves, which by the Merchant Shipping Act 1895, ยง 492, include quays, docks and other premises on which goods may be lawfully landed, are either " sufferance wharves," authorized by the commissioners of customs under bond, or " legal wharves " specially appointed by treasury warrant and exempt from bond. There are also wharves authorized by statute or by prescriptive right. The owner or occupier of a wharf is styled a ' wharfinger,' properly " wharfager," with an intrusive n, as in " messenger " and " passenger."
End of Article: WHARF
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