" 68 S207" "7994 Whaleback freighters of ore and grain in canal, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. Copyright Underwood & Underwood, U-94302" "European Publishers Underwood & Underwood (London) Ltd." "Underwood & Underwood,New York & Ottawa, Kas. Works, Arlington, N. J."
Reverse: "7994. We are looking west in the direction of Lake Superior. The Canadian bank of the river shows through the steel girders of the Canadian Pacific R. R. bridge in the distance. The rapids ("Sault") of Ste. Marie, to pass which this canal was constructed, are just off at our right, this side of the bridge. The michigan shore is at our left."
This is the Poe Lock, 800 feet long, which we are over-looking from a balcony of the power-house."
It was constructed by the U.S. Government in 1896 and cost $3,000,000. The cost of the entire canal has amounted to $16,000,000. It is at present maintained at Federal expense and lockage is free. These freighters are lifted 17 feet as they pass through the canal on their way up to Lake Superior. The total annual tonnage of vessels passing through the canal is over 32,000,000. The volume of traffic has been increasing steadily ever since the State of Michigan built the first canal here half a century ago, for during that time the grain production of Minnesota and the Dakotas has multiplied many times over; the Lake Superior copper regions have been exploited with stupendous profits, and now within the last quarter century the iron mines of northern Minnesota have been developed, entirely transforming whole fields of manufacturing industries.
The "whaleback" type of vessel was designed in 1890 by a Duluth man on purpose for Lake freighters. Whalebacks are very economical of power and a heavy sea can wash over them without doing damage. (Stereographs 7793, 7995-7997 give other interesting sights about this same canal.)