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Learning about discovered defense against British warships in Delaware River

Cheval-de-frise found 30 miles north of Philadelphia undetected for 240 years

  • Scott LaMar
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Airdate: January 27, 2022

Chevaux-de-frise were spiked pole-like objects submerged in the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War to obstruct British vessels from moving on Philadelphia.

It was thought that all the Chevaux-de-frise was located south of the city to keep the British from sailing north from the Delaware Bay. However, in 2012, a local yacht club discovered a cheval-de-frix near Bristol in Buck County — 30 miles north of Philadelphia.

It had been hidden underwater for almost 240 years, in spite of its large size — almost 30 feet long and 13 and-a-half inches in diameter.

Pennsylvania State Museum Curator of Archaeology Janet Johnson joined us on Smart Talk Tuesday to tell the story.

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