The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Pumper (1829)

Year of Build:
Construction and Ownership
Built at:
Kingston, Ontario
Final Disposition

80x15x6 Owned by R. Drummond. Built by R. Drummond, Kingston and launched 06/06/29. Built to pump water out of cofferdam during construction of lowest lock at Kingston Mills; also used as tug to Kingston. Intended for commercial use later. "At this post [Kingston Mills] we also observe a steam engine equipped on board of a flat or scow, and at present used to pump the water out of the lower lockpit" ("Canadian Courant" 1830). "Mr. Drummond's steam scow" first to use Kingston Mills locks (last on canal to be completed) 07/05/32. Made ceremonial first transit of canal leaving Kingston Mills 24/05/32. (This was an extemporized journey as the first vessel was to have been sternwheeler "John By" which, when launched, drew too much water and could not use the Canal at all.) "Left…. Thursday [12/07/32] for Bytown. This is the first commercial cargo which has navigated the canal. We understand she will be a regular trader…until succeeded by a more efficient and commodious craft" (Hallowell "Free Press"). Note: There has always been confusion as to the name. She was launched as "Rideau" but was almost always called "Pumper" afterwards; most reports of the "first transit" 1832 call her "Pumper"

Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Pumper (1829)
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Pumper (1829)