Before planes were powered by a scotch-reaction turbine, a water wheel was used to raise and lower boats.
Many different incline plane designs were tried on the early Morris Canal. Planes 9 and 10 West may have originally been constructed circa 1830 as summit planes. There is not a lot of information about how this early mechanism was implemented on the Morris Canal. In 1835 they were changed to lock planes. A french visitor at the time, Michel Chevalier, tells us that at Plane 9 West a 26-foot-diameter overshot water wheel that was 8-foot wide pulled boats into an empty lock that was at the top of the incline using a chain. At the same time a cradle car was descending, the second track of the plane could be carrying another boat up the plane. As far as we know from drawings and other evidence, all of the planes of this type of construction were double planes. On these drawings and sketches it shows two lock chambers at the head of each incline plane. One filled for boats that were descending and one empty to accept ascending boats. A second smaller water wheel powered the opening and closing of the lock gates.