The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Charles Wack (Propeller), 1 Jul 1858

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THE NEW CANAL PROPELLER. - We have already noticed the new steam canal boat built by Van Slyke, Notter & Co., of this city, and named the " CHARLES WACK," and stated that she left on Saturday last with a load of flour for New York.
      The boat has already passed Rochester on her first trip going east. The Lockport Courier, of Monday says, "The steam canal boat went through this place Sunday morning, having on board about one hundred and thirty tons of freight. She made about four miles an hour, and raised less swell than an ordinary canal boat."
      The Rochester Union, in noticing the arrival of the boat, says, the new experimental canal steamer, constructed in Buffalo for Capt. Sanderson, of Selby, Orleans Co., arrived here from the west at 7 o'clock this morning, and stopped nearly three hours at and near the Weigh Lock to take in coal, and enable some of our citizens to see the boat.
      This steamer has on board eight hundred barrels of flour, and draws three feet eight inches of water. As the trip was an experiment, it was deemed advisable not to load to the full capacity. The captain thinks, however, that if his boat was down a foot more in the water, as she would be with a full cargo, he would get more power from the propellers.
      Of the success of the experiment so far, of course it will be expected that we should say something. The boat has worked well considering the obstacles she has met with, which were unforseen, and which would retard any boat. No difficulty has been met, so far on the trip, which appears to lie with the plan of construction. The CHARLIE WACK left Black Rock on Saturday evening, and went along pretty well until a tiller chain broke, and before the engine could be stopped she ran upon the mud. This detained her some time. Having exhausted her small quantity of fuel, the captain could get nothing for a time but green basswood, which did not make steam very fast. At length some anthracite coal was obtained, and that alone did not appear to be just the thing for the light draft of the pipe. At Shelby, where Captain Sanderson resides, the boat stopped for a short time. At Brockport some good wood was obtained, and the boat came down to this city from that place in good style. She left Brockport at two o'clock this morning, and ran to Rochester in a little less than five hours, or at the rate of four miles per hour.
      Here a quantity of soft coal was taken in, and about ten o'clock the CHARLES WACK left for the east with the best wishes of all for the success of the experiment. It is idle to express an opinion as to the success of this experiment. One or more trips must be made through the Erie Canal, and a report must be made of all the particulars of the voyage, including expense for fuel and such circumstances as transpire, which have a bearing upon the matter.
      Buffalo Daily Courier
      Thursday, July 22, 1858

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new canal propeller
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Charles Wack (Propeller), 1 Jul 1858