THE EAGLE SCREAMS
The Detroit Dry Dock Co. is the lucky shipbuilding firm to figure in what is probably the most noteworthy shipbuilding contract on record for the lakes, in receiving an order from the Russian government for the construction of three monster car ferry steamers the size of the mammoth Ste. Marie, now plying in the Straits of Mackinaw. The most remarkable feature of this transaction is that in choosing the builders of these peculiar vessels, in which cost is a secondary consideration, the descendants of Peter the Great should pass by the hardy Norsemen, who are accustomed to fighting ice in its season as best they may, by the great shipyards of the Clyde, the Wear, Belfast and Liverpool, where the British ascribe to themselves the greatest perfection in the art of naval construction; by the great yards of the American coast where the most expensive of the government contracts are awarded, to place their gigantic contract with the firm whose product plies upon a stretch of water of which our ocean friends would fain all but deny the existence.
But the solution of the problem lies in the fact that the Russians want experience, not experiment. They have visited the lakes, and the boats of this especial pattern which the lakes have produced. They know just what can be done by the monster Ste. Marie, and her less pretentious, but proportionately no less efficient sister, the St. Ignace; and they know that boats built upon these patterns cannot but prove satisfactory in the work which they will be called upon to perform. The winning of such a prize as the Russian contract, and winning it upon records alone, is something to make every American's bosom swell to bursting with true patriotic pride, and make some of the trans-Atlantic fellow-craftsmen turn olive green with envy. This will probably wake some of the British shipping journals even more thoroughly than did the proposition of Mr. Cramp last summer, to the British government, suggesting that John Bull allow the Philadelphia yard to build him some war vessels that were in keeping with the times. - Marine Record.