Within the next two weeks two monster steel ships, the largest ever built at the yards of the Detroit Shipbuilding Co., will drop into the water at Wyandotte and the finishers will quickly add the necessary trappings and upper works to put them into service before the rush of the season has fairly begun. No. 134, the keel for which was laid Dec. 20 last, is practically ready for the water now. She is 476 feet in length over all and will be christened the HARVARD.
Within two months from dropping into the water she will be delivered to her owners, The Pittsburg Company, commonly mentioned as the Carnegie Co. The first of the Eddy boats now building will slide into the water three weeks from the launching of the HARVARD. She is 442 feet in length over all and is at present known as 135. She will be christened the SIMON J. MURPHY.
May 9, 1900
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According to present plans, the Carnegie steamer HARVARD, building at the Wyandotte ship yard of the Detroit Dry Dock Co., will be launched Saturday of this week. The steamer SIMON J. MURPHY, 442 feet long, building at the same yard for Eddy Bros. or Bay City, will be launched in about three weeks. The second Eddy boat will be launched about a month later.
May 17, 1900
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Detroit, June 23. - At 3 o'clock this afternoon occurred the launch at the Wyandotte yards of the freighter SIMON J. MURPHY, for Eddy Bros., & Co., of Bay City. The MURPHY is 451 feet long, 51 feet beam and 28 feet deep. There is a pretty story in connection with the naming of the big boat, but it is not the usual story of a pretty girl and a bottle of wine broken on the bow. That formality is not on the program. The boat is named after the only surviving member of the original lumber firm of Jonathan Eddy, S.J. Murphy and Newell Avery, that started the business in Danville, Maine, before any of the families moved to Michigan. Three generations of grown representatives of the three families were represented at the launch today. After the launch, Mr. Murphy invited the representatives of the three families to dine at his residence, 1035 Woodward Avenue.
June 24, 1900
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THE' SIMON J. MURPHY' 455-FOOTER LAUNCHED AT WYANDOTTE.
SHE COST $325,000 AND WILL CARRY 6,000 TONS OF FREIGHT.
A Disastrous Accident Narrowly Averted As She Slid In.
A fine modern steel freight steamer, costing $325,000, was launched from the Wyandotte yards of the Detroit Shipbuilding Co. yesterday afternoon, and two months later another, an exact duplicate in every way will follow her. Both craft are for the Eddy-Shaw transportation company, of Bay City, and added to four other steamers in commission for some years, make up a fleet worth at the least calculation $1,500,000.
The steamer is named SIMON J. MURPHY after the venerable millionaire Detroit lumberman, who made a good deal of money in partnership with the father of the Eddys, whose names figure in the foregoing company. Mr. Murphy, who is on the shady side of 80, was healthy, hearty and active, and teeming with humor, was present at the launch yesterday, and keenly enjoyed the interesting spectacle.
The ferry steamer SAPPHO carried 800 people to the splash, of whom 500 were invited guests of the owners of the boat. Some of the owners were also present, among them Selwyn Eddy, Charles A. Eddy and Frank W. Eddy, and Howard. L. shaw and John C. Shaw, representing the Shaw estate. H. L. Shaw is also manager of the line. He "brought out" the POPE and SELWYN EDDY, of the fleet, sailing them a number of years, and never had an accident, and at the time was one of the youngest masters on the lakes.
The new boat is 455 feet over all, 51½ feet beam, and 29 feet deep. and it is estimated she will carry 6,600 gross tons of ore on a draft of a little less than 18 feet. Her dead weight as she lay in the water was 2,400 tons, The MURPHY will probably prove one of the most economical carriers on the lakes, as she has to have but 1,500 horse power, which it is figured will carry her from Ashtabula to Duluth and back on 160 tons of fuel, running twelve miles an hour loaded and fourteen light. The engine is a small triple-expansion and the two boilers of the Scotch pattern, all built at the annexes of the Detroit plant.
The ANGELINE and ADMIRAL are in the main much like the MURPHY, except that she is 14 feet longer. She also differs in having eighteen inches of "tumble-home," or at least six inches more than is given the average 400-footer. A word to the uniniated: "Tumble-home" is a slanting inward of the vessel's sides from a point about at the fender-strake to the top of the rail. Designer Kirby figures that this conformation will give the vessel greater stiffness, as the crown does to the arch, and as well will decrease her top weight and by lightening her draft add something to her carrying capacity. This is the only entirely new feature to the boat, and will undoubtedly be adopted on other craft yet to be built.
An official of a company figures that $50,000 will be the annual cost of operating the steamer, divided as follows: Insurance, $10,000; wages, $8,000; fuel, $8,000: Interest, $14,700; depreciation on boat, $5,000; incidentals, $5,000. She will be in commission in about three weeks, and will begin immediately to carry the Penobscot mine's ore from the upper peninsula to various Ohio ports, the mine being owned by practically the same people. There will not be enough of it, however, to keep all six going, so the last out will carry wild cargoes; she will be out in October. and will put in two months of work this year. Frank L Kirby was the designer of the hull, and A. G. mattson of the machinery, and general Superintendent C. B. Calder was the constructor.
The 18-inch beam, which acted as the trigger of the figure-4 trap, which held the bow in place, was crushed like an egg when the supports were knocked away, and the bow started ahead of the stern, gaining at least 12 feet. As bad luck would have it, Mr. Kirby's assistant at the stern had his attention directed elsewhere at that critical moment. Kirby was watching it, however; he yelled "cut it," and the axe swung, the cable was severed, and the belated after end started in the race. It caught up nicely and the drop-in was almost even.
"What would have happened, had you not been looking," was asked of Mr. Kirby, "Oh, lots of things," was the answer, and experts who saw the incident guessed the stern might have slipped in after terribly straining the vessel, or that the hull might have broken in two. It was the nearest approach to a serious accident the shipbuilding company has ever had; but so thorough is the training of the employees and so rigid is the watch on the boat at the vital moment, that there is practically no chance of an accident.
Milwaukee Library Scrapbook
June 24, 1900
The steamer SIMON J. MURPHY was launched from the Wyandotte yard of the Detroit Ship Building Co. on Saturday last. She is the first of two steel freighters building at the Detroit works for Eddy Bros. of Bay City. The vessel is 446 feet over all, 50 feet beam and 28 ½ feet molded depth. Her engines are of the triple expansion vertical, inverted type, the cylinders being 22 inches, 35 inches and 58 inches with 42 inches stroke. The boilers are of the Scotch type, 13 feet 2 inches in diameter by 12 feet long, each having two furnaces and using Howden draft.
June 28, 1900
SIMON J. MURPHY Built June 23, 1900 Bulk Propeller - Steel
U. S. No. 116987 4869 gt - 3770 nt 435.5' x 51.5' x 28'
Scrapped at Cleveland, Ohio, fall, 1960
Detroit/Wyandotte Shipbuilding Master List
Institute for Great Lakes Research