The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), May 29, 1868

Full Text

p.2 Ashore - News was received this afternoon that the steamer Bay of Quinte was ashore at Trenton, where she had gone with immigrants. She had not arrived up to the time of our going to press.

Arrival of Immigrants - The steamer Kingston arrived yesterday afternoon with 145 German immigrants from Quebec, en route to the Western States. Forty-five of them were anxious to locate at Trenton, and upon the representation of Mr. Macpherson, Immigration Agent, the owners of the steamer Bay of Quinte kindly consented to that vessel's making a special trip to that place for the purpose of landing them...


As this is the season of steamboat travel, it may be well to direct attention to the principal features in an act which has been passed during the last session of Parliament, respecting the inspection of steamboats, and for the greater safety of passengers by them.

This act provides that the inspectors of steamboats shall form a Board; and that, after the 1st of January, 1869, no person shall be appointed inspector without previous examination before this Board, as to his knowledge on the subjects of hulls, boilers, and machinery of steamboats, and the receiving of a certificate to that effect from the Chairman of the Board.

The act furthermore provides that this Board shall have the power to inquire into causes of fatal accidents on any steamboat. To prevent these, it expressly forbids the loading of the boiler-valves beyond the pressure last allowed by the inspector; and, moreover, the owners, officers, or engineers of steamboats, are bound, under penalty, to answer truly any pertinent questions put to them by the Inspector.

As a precaution against explosions, a steam-gauge is to be placed, so as to be open to view of passengers; and the pressure is to be reduced when the steamboat stops. Also, each boiler is to be provided with a water-gauge, to show the level of the water at all times; and surface blow-off valves are to be provided on vessels navigating brackish or salt water.

A life-boat and other boats, in proportion to the tonnage, are to be carried by passenger steamboats, departing by sea, or from any place on the lakes, or the rivers St. Lawrence or Ottawa; and - as a precaution against fire - one life-preserver is to be carried for every passenger, and a certain number in proportion to tonnage, in all cases. Likewise pumps and hose for putting out fires, and proper means of escape from the lower to the upper deck are to be provided.

Individuals seeking to become engineers on steamboats, must be examined as to their qualifications by the Board of Inspectors, or, at least by one or more of the Inspectors appointed by the Board; and if they report favourably, the applicant will receive a certificate or license, such license to be renewed annually, and to be revoked altogether, on proof of negligence, unskilfulness, or drunkenness, or upon the finding of a coroner's inquest.

The act also provides for a classification of engineers, and enjoins that none but licensed engineers shall be employed; whilst the number of passengers to be carried by any steamboat is to be regulated by an order in Council, to be published in the Canada Gazette.

Certain provisions of this act apply to Ontario only. Amongst these is one to furnish passenger steamers with gang-boards, and at night with lights; and making it obligatory on owners or occupiers of a wharf to exhibit lights thereat during night.

These provisions, in general, seem to commend themselves; but it appears to us that, in order as far as possible to ensure an honest examination of every candidate engineer, not less than three out of the total Board of Inspectors should ever be appointed to examine an applicant, and confer the sought-for certificate.

For the rest, we think the terrible catastrophe of the blowing up of the Lion steamboat so near our own homes, and which is still so fresh in our memory, will especially cause the passing of the present law to be hailed with satisfaction. The Act will eventually give us a technically educated Board of Steamboat Inspectors; also a similarly educated class of engineers. These latter will feel themselves responsible to a tribunal that will be able quickly to detect negligence or inefficiency, and with the power to follow such detection with dismissal, and to forbid to the offender the resumption of his office. It will, moreover, provide the country, in addition to the ordinary coroner's inquest in the matter of steamboat accidents, with a Court of Inquiry consisting of experts, whose investigation may be supposed to be skilful, and, therefore, searching; and whose ultimate finding may be received as authoritative. The fear of accidents from the incompetency or negligence of those who shall have received licenses will tend to rigour of examination, and to the disallowance of any personal favouritism in the granting of the certificates; for, just as the alumni of a college shed lustre or cast discredit on their alma mater, so will alike the ability and the shortcomings of these licensed engineers redound to the credit or blame of the board which placed them in their responsible situations. [Montreal Witness]

-man to go over Falls in india-rubber boat made by Goodyear Rubber Co. [Detroit Free Press]

p.3 Arrivals - 29; Departures - 29.

Media Type:
Item Type:
Date of Original:
May 29, 1868
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Rick Neilson
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
WWW address
Comment on this item
Groups of Related Records
Kingston Newspaper clippings
Other Web sites/External links
Kingston News, 29 May 1868 Kingston News, 29 May 1868
Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Daily News (Kingston, ON), May 29, 1868