The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Sir William Fairbairn (Propeller), U116736, 2 Aug 1896

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The SIR WILLIAM FAIRBAIRN, the first of the Rockfeller steamers which the Detroit Dry-dock company has under contract, will be launched in about ten days. The second one which they are building, the ROBERT FULTON, is well along and will also be ready for launching in a few weeks. The work is being pushed day and night, over 1,000 men being employed.
      Milwaukee Wisconsin
      July 30, 1896

      . . . . .

      Detroit, Aug. 1 - The new stm. SIR WILLIAM FAIRBAIRN the first of the Rockefeller boats being built by the Detroit Drydock Co., and the largest boat ever built in Michigan, was launched from the Wyandotte yard this afternoon at 4:00. Sinclair Stewart, representing the owners, was present.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      August 2, 1896 16-2

The SIR WILLIAM FAIRBAIRN was launched from the ways in the Detroit Dry Dock Co.'s Wyandotte yards on Saturday. She is the longest lake vessel afloat
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Monday, Augustv 3, 1896

      The SIR WILLIAM FAIRBAIRN, the longest vessel on the lakes, and lacking but 21, feet in beam of being the largest vessel on the lake, was launched by the Detroit Dry Dock Company, Saturday. Her engines are 24, 38 and 64 with 42 inches stroke, and the two boilers are 14 ½ by 11 ½ feet. This is smaller power than in any of the Bessemer fleet, but it will be more than made up by the addition of Howden hot draft system. None of the others will have this, and this will give an excellent opportunity for comparison. The water bottom will hold 2,000 tons of water. Her shapes, if laid out in a straight line, would stretch away 17 miles and 4 rods, and her plates would stretch out 7 miles, 38 rods and 6 feet. There were driven into her hull 41.5,553 rivets and their combined length is 622,905 inches, equal to 9 miles and 266 rods. Drawings and a full description of the FAIRBAIRN appeared in Review of July 30. The JOHN ERICSSON, another of the Bessemer ships, will leave the yard of the American Steel Barge Co. some time next week, but her tow barge will not be ready for a month. This steamer and barge will make up the largest tow on the lakes, and will carry upwards of 10,000 tons on 15 feet draft.
      Marine Review
      August 6, 1896

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launch, Wyandotte
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Sir William Fairbairn (Propeller), U116736, 2 Aug 1896