The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Vanderbilt (Propeller), 1 Jul 1871

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NEW PROPELLER. - The new propeller building at Muir, Livingstone & Co's yard is progressing finely. About all the ceiling has been put on together with shelf pieces, etc. At present her deck frames is being put up. The dimensions of the craft are as follows: Length of keel, 225 feet; beam, 34 feet; length overall, 245 feet. A large gang of shipbuilders are at work steadily on her, and a great amount of timber is being fastened down daily with spike and bolt. The timber was taken out near Wallaceburg and is some of the finest specimen of oak ever put into a vessel. The expectation is that the propeller will be completed early in the fall. The boat is for the Western Transportation Company and will be named the VANDERBILT. The boat will be one of the largest and staunchest craft afloat on fresh water. The arches are being put on and from appearances will be a vessel of gigantic porportions.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      July 20, 1871

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LAUNCH OF THE PROPELLER VANDERBILT. - The propeller VANDERBILT, the keel of which was laid four months ago, was launched Saturday evening. The crowd of people assembled early in the afternoon to witness the launch, and after waiting a long time they commenced to disperse. The reason for the delay was the care taken to prevent any straining of the vessel as she was to leave the ways. At 7:40 the blocks were knocked out and the gallant craft glided into the water amid the cheers of the spectators. The dimensions of the VANDERBILT have been stated before but will bear repetition. Measured length overall 235 feet; breadth of beam, 34 feet; depth of hold, 14 feet 6 inches. Her two engines are the compound kind with one shaft and the large cylinders are 40 inches bore and 36 inch stroke. The smaller ones are 20 inch bore and 36 inche stroke. The boiler is 10 feet 6 inches in diameter with a length of 18 feet 6 inches and is made of what is sometimes called homogenous steel, which means that the oxygen has been taken out so that she will stand almost any degree of heat. The manufacturers at the Shepard Works at Buffalo claim that to be the best piece of workmanship that ever left their shop. It is claimed that the VANDERBILT's engines are 150 horse-power greater than any propeller in the Chicago fleet The spikes and drift bolts used in this vessel have a total weight of 75 tons and will be finished off at this port. Her captain expects to make about three trips this season. The carrying capacity of the VANDERBILT is 1400 tons. In launching the vessel, as before stated, great care had been taken to prevent any straining and this, it is believed, was accomplished. The boat is owned by the Western Transportation Company and with others in the same line will run in connection with the New York Central. The president and vice president of the company were here from Buffalo and were very pleased with their new propeller. During the time occupied in building, the work has constantly been under the supervision of her Captain, Henry D. Pheatt who is highly delighted with the noble craft to command. He speaks in the highest terms of her builder, Muir, Livingstone Company. The owners of the VANDERBILT also declare themselves satisfied with the boat, and speak of the builders as being competent to undertake any work for the line. When completed the boat will have cost $95,000. The completion of the VANDERBILT and the repairing of other boats her this season prove that ship-building can be done here cheaper by far than points either north or south of us.
      Port Huron Daily Times
      Thursday, September 21, 1871

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building & launch
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William R. McNeil
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Vanderbilt (Propeller), 1 Jul 1871