The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Comet (Propeller), U5683, 12 May 1857

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On Saturday afternoon last, we went out into the lake on board the new prop. COMET built for Mr. Dean Richmond & Co. of Buffalo, and designed to be run in connection with the freight trains of the New York Central Railroad. She acquitted herself handsomely, making at the rate of 10 m.p.h., her engine (an oscillator) working admirably. She was built for her proprietor by Messrs. Peck & Masters, and is in the highest degree creditable to their establishment. Her engine was made at the Cuyahoga Iron Works, under the superintendence of Ethan Rogers. Her officers are as follows: H. Watts, Captain; 1st mate, Robert Watts; 2d mate, Ed. A. Whittlesey; 1st engineer, Wm. S. Curtis; 2d engineer, Warren Thayer. Her dimensions and tonnage are as follows: 181.18 ft. in length; 29 ft. beam; 12.44 ft. hold; tonnage 621 90/95. Her cost was $38,500.
      Cleveland Leader
      May 4, 1857 3-3

      . . . . .
      THE ROCKET AND THE COMET. -- These two admirable propellers have just come out from the yard of Messrs. Peck & Masters, and are ready to move. In fact the COMET is now loaded. The ROCKET loads immediately.
      These propellers are built for the New York Central Railroad line, and will run between this port and Buffalo. The ROCKET and COMET are all that a skilful use of materials can make. They have over-head arches 15 by 16 inches, bolted through and through with screw bolts, one foot apart, and secured to the hull by rods 2-3/4 inch iron, kneed in every beam with hanging knees. The arrangements for freight and crew is perfect, and the capacity of each is for 5,500 barrels flour, the ROCKET measuring 611 tons, and the COMET measuring 621 tons. The engines are low pressure, oscillating, with cylinder 38 inches. The Cuyahoga Steam Works built these engines, and so far as their character is concerned nothing further can be required, as the work turned out of this establishment either for steamboats, propellers, locomotives, or stationary engines cannot be excelled.
      The ROCKET is officered by Wm. Watts, Captain; M. Driscoll, 1st. Mate; Geo. Burton, 2nd. Mate; C. L. Baker 1st. Engineer; E. Lindsay 2nd. Engineer.
      The COMET is officered by H. Watts, Captain; Robert Watts, 1st. Mate; Wm. Curtiss, Engineer.
      The seamanship and character of the Brother's Watts are duly appreciated, and the New York Central have shown admirable judgment in confiding their interest to such men. -- Cleveland Herald.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Saturday, May 9, 1857

      . . . . .

      The Cleveland Herald announces the completion of two new propellers, the ROCKET and the COMET, built for the New York Central Railroad line, the former measuring 611 and the latter 621 tons. They are fine boats, thoroughly built, with low-pressure oscillating engines. William Watts commands the ROCKET, and H. Watts the COMET.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      Tuesday, May 12, 1857

Screw COMET. U. S. No. 5683. Of 621 tons. Built Cleveland, Ohio, 1857. First home port, Buffalo, N.Y. DISPOSITION -- Collided with MANITOBA, August 26, 1875 on Lake Superior, 11 lives lost.
      Merchant Steam Vessels of the United States
      Lytle - Holdcamper List, 1790 to 1868

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new propeller, built Cleveland
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William R. McNeil
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Comet (Propeller), U5683, 12 May 1857