The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 23 May 1858

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SCREW STEAMERS - The employment of screw steamers as a method of passenger transit, to the growing importance of which we have before called attention, has lately been made the subject of an experiment on the North River which has proved eminently successful. The boat in question is a side-screw steamer, built on the same plan as our lake propellers, except that the screws are placed on the sides of the vessel, instead of under the stern. She is named the CHARLOTTE VANDERBILT. The *N.Y. Journal of Commerce* says:

"It is a handsome steamboat, and has a number of peculiarities. Its length is 210 feet; bow very sharp, with fine water lines; it has considerable breadth amidships to give stability in the water, as its draft is very light, being less than three feet at the bow. The interior of the hull, under the lower deck, is divided into sixteen wrought iron water-tight compartments or cells. It was built for great speed, to run between New York and Albany as a day boat, to make as good time as the railroad; and it is, in fact, a locomotive steamer in regard to her engines. She has a screw propeller at each side, in place of paddle wheels, and each propeller shaft is driven direct by two locomotive oscillating cylinders. The screws are 14 feet in diameter, and have twenty-five feet pitch. The cylinders are two feet bore and two feet stroke. We should really like to see this method of propulsion fairly tested in our waters, as it is said to be very successful on Lake Erie, and if so, its economy in room for machinery and first cost is very great. - The engines and only weigh forty-five tons, and occupy a very small space. They are intended to do as much work as common steamboat engines and boilers of two and three hundred tons weight."

On trial, the boat was found to answer all expectations. With a pressure of fifty pounds of steam, a speed of over twenty miles per hour was obtained, which is certainly unprecedented in the history of screw steamers. With this advantage followed out, we predict a system of lake steamers which will fully replace the magnificent steamboats now abandoned, with the advantage of being able to support their running expenses and remunerate their owners, by reason of their greatly reduced cost in construction and support.

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23 May 1858
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Dave Swayze
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 23 May 1858