Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Frank E. Kirby (Steamboat), 22 Oct 1891
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With this issue is presented a supplemental engraving of the side-wheel steamer FRANK E. KIRBY, built by the Detroit Dry Dock Company and engaged in excursion business between Detroit, Put-in Bay and Sandusky. The KIRBY has led the fast boats of the lakes for two seasons past, and was the object of considerable attention during the past season, on account of a great deal of talk of a race with the new CITY OF TOLEDO, an engraving of which, with her horizontal triple expansion engines we hope to present shortly.
The first time the KIRBY ever made the run up the Detroit river, she was three minutes astern of the fast steamer GREYHOUND at the Lime-Kilns crossing The GREYHOUND on that occasion made the run from the crossing to Detroit against the current, nearly 17 miles, in 1 hour and 1 minute. The GREYHOUND and KIRBY were side by side when they reached Detroit. The KIRBY's average time from Detroit to Bois Blanc light is 1 hour. She has frequently made it in 55 minutes, the distance being 19 miles. Her schedule time from Detroit to Put-in Bay is 3 hours and 5 minutes, a distance of 57 miles. She has made the run from Detroit to Put-in Bay in 2 hours and 55 minutes. Her schedule time for the round trip between Detroit and Sandusky and return is to leave Detroit at 8:30 a. in., returning to Detroit at 9:30 p. m., and during the passenger season she very rarely arrives at Detroit behind time. The number of miles she has to run on the round trip is 160. She makes nine landings and sometimes twelve or thirteen. During the busy season she lands at Put-in Bay from 600 to 1,000 excursionists and takes them on board on her return trip from Sandusky. At Sandusky she handles on an average 75 tons of freight a day and takes on coal for the round trip. She has made the round trip from Detroit to Sandusky and back, with all landings, handling 50 tons of freight and taking on fuel for the round trip in 11hours and 55 minutes. With 150 tons of freight, using the same amount of steam that she uses when running light, she is kept back only 5 minutes in a run of 50 miles. She came across Lake Erie last fall from Put-in Bay to Bois Blanc light, headed into the wind, which was blowing at the rate of 25 to 35 miles an hour, and made her schedule time within 10 minutes.
      The Marine Review
      October 22, 1891

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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Frank E. Kirby (Steamboat), 22 Oct 1891