The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Russell Sage (Propeller), 23 May 1881

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Buffalo, April 10. -- Fine weather has aroused vessel men to considerable activity, and much scrubbing, painting. etc., is being done. The event of Saturday was the launch of the new propeller JOHN C. GAULT, for the Wabash Line, from the Union Dry Dock Company's yard. Among the spectators were A. W. Colton, manager of the line, and J. M. Osborne, of the Wabash Railroad Company, in connection with which steamers of the line run. The propeller was launched into the large dry-dock alongside of which she was built, the dock having been prepared for her reception by the construction of a dam across the north end about fifteen feet inside the gates, after which it was pumped full of water to about three feet above the usual level. Captain M. M. Drake, the Union Company superintendent, gave the word to "Let go" at 2:45 o'clock and the GAULT slid gracefully down the slip ways into her native element, where her graceful sheer, fine entrance and neat run were the cause of general remarks. Her dimensions are: Length over all, 233 feet; length of keel, 219 feet; breadth of beam, 33 feet; depth of hold, 13 feet 6 inches; distance between decks, 9 feet 6 inches. She is designed to have a carry capacity of 1,200 tons on a draft of 13 feet of water. She is diagonally strapped throughout with bands of half-inch iron from promenade deck to past the turn of the bilge. These straps cross each other diagonally and are five feet apart each way. They are riveted to iron cord one-half by eight inches, both at the main and promenade deck heights, securely fastened to each frame and hot riveted where they cross. The hold is divided into four compartments, so arranged that she can be loaded with grain without any trimming, There are four hatches and four gangways at each side. Her engine is a single compound Parry & Lay, built by Henry G. Trout, of this city. It is all in place, and the cylinders are 26 x 54 inches in diameter, the stroke being thirty-six inches. She will have two boilers made of Otis steel by Riter, of Buffalo. Each of them is six feet nine inches in diameter and fourteen feet in length. They will stand on the main deck on the iron floor completely encased in iron. Her screw has a diameter of eleven feet. She is named after the general manager of the Wabash Railroad, and will be commanded by Captain G. W. Stoddart, of Cleveland with Mr. Joseph Whiteham as chief engineer.
A sister boat to the GAULT, to be called the RUSSEL SAGE, will be ready for launching in a few weeks, and will be commanded by Captain Cottrell, formerly of the steam barge MORLEY, with Alfred Vincent as engineer.
      Cleveland Herald
      Monday, April 11, 1881

      . . . . .

      Saturday afternoon shortly before 2:00 the second new propeller built at the Union Drydock Co.'s shipyard for the Wabash Line, and which has been called the RUSSELL SAGE, was launched in the presence of quite a number of spectators, although owing to the fact that Capt. Drake, the Superintendent , kept the matter very quiet, the attendance was not as good as it would otherwise have been. The boat, which was built in the southwest side of the yard, was launched into the Blackwell Canal, fronting which the company proposes erecting sheds and machinery for the construction of the monster iron propeller ordered by the Union Steamboat Co. The launch was a success in every respect, and all present were loud in their praise of the handsome lines of the RUSSELL SAGE, which is an exact duplicate in every respect of her sister boat the JOHN C. GAULT, which made her trial trip last Wednesday, and whose handsome appearance and excellent working qualities gave such general satisfaction to her owners in Toledo. The SAGE will come out under the command of Capt. J.P. Cotrell, last season in the company's prop. MORELY.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      May 23, 1881 1-9

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William R. McNeil
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Russell Sage (Propeller), 23 May 1881