The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Kingston Herald (Kingston, ON), June 17, 1845

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p.2 On Saturday we had the pleasure of visiting the Steamer Rival at the Canal Basin. She was formerly a ferry boat at Quebec, under a different name, but was lately purchased by Dickson, Johnson & Co., Forwarders for their line of boats to Kingston. Previous to the purchase she had been fitted with the common paddle-wheel, and was, therefore, from the breadth at the paddle-boxes, prevented from passing through the locks of the Canals. Messrs. Dickson & Johnson have, however, made their calculations, bought the boat, and changed the common paddles for the improved paddles invented and patented by Mr. Baird, Civil Engineer. These not only have been found to increase the power with a less expenditure of fuel, but also with a greatly diminished breadth of the paddle boxes. In the present instance, the diminution of width has been about eight feet, and such, in fact, as to enable a boat which formerly was confined of necessity to the River, to ascend to the Upper Lakes.

The Rival is the first steamer that we have seen with these new paddle-wheels, although we understand that officers in this country, under instructions from the Lords of the Admiralty, had fully tested their advantages some three years ago, and again within a few months since. The report which they made is strong in favour of the new invention, and we should not be surprised, that if the Rival outstrips her present rivals, this kind of paddle-wheel will supercede entirely the common one in Canal navigation. Its particular benefits are to be found in a diminished breadth of boat at the paddle boxes, by which boats of large tonnage may be able to pass through the locks, and in the fact, that the peculiar shape of the paddle, and the angle at which it enters and rises from the water, effectually prevent any agitation, and so save the Banks of the Canal from being washed. [Montreal Herald]

Our contemporary does not speak too favorably of Mr. Baird's invention. Previous to the alteration in the paddle wheels of the Rival, she could not have come up the Current St. Mary; with her new paddles she came up in gallant style. We cannot state precisely how great the improvement is; but we are happy to say that the Captain of the Rival is quite satisfied. The paddle boxes are so narrow that one can scarcely see them. We have every reason to believe that some of the Montreal and Quebec steamers would be as greatly improved by the substitution of the present heavy and large wheel for Baird's paddles. We trust that there will be found one steamboat proprietor enterprising enough to try the experiment, if experiment we should now call it. We may sum up the benefits to be derived from Baird's paddles to be - 1stly, a great saving of fuel; 2ndly, greater speed; 3dly, less breadth of wings or guards required. [Montreal Transcript]

Board of Works hired a Mr. Benson to be in charge of police at Welland Canal; then his job was given to Major Richardson, and he was given a job as Lock Tender and Deputy Collector at Broad Creek - injustice. [St. Catharines Journal]

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June 17, 1845
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Kingston Herald (Kingston, ON), June 17, 1845