The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit (Steamboat), 15 Apr 1859

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THE NEW STEAMERS. -- We paid a hasty visit to the new steamers building by Bidwell & Mason, under the superintendence of Julius Movius, Esq., at the shipyard of the former gentlemen, for the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad Company. The DETROIT is rapidly advancing to completion, the engines for her being nearly ready -- the boilers, and large cylinder, being already in their places.
      At the first glance at these vessels, the first idea that strikes the beholder, is that of immense strength. They are a perfect mass of wood and iron, interlaced together, and no sea-going vessel was ever more powerfully built. We hazard nothing in saying that they are the most substantial and best built vessels, that were ever constructed in Buffalo.
      The dimensions of the vessels ( the vessels are twins ) are as follows:
      Length over all - - - - - - - - 246 feet
      Beam - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 34 feet
      Depth of hold - - - - - - - - - 13 feet
      To top of bulwarks - - - - - 17 feet
The frames of these vessels run up to the top of the bulwarks, rendering the actual depth of the vessel 17 feet. This alone is an element of great strength. In nearly all other steamers the frames run only to the guards, with a light bulwark. In the case of these steamers the bulwarks are part and parcel of the hull -- (having no guards but that which supports the shaft and wheelhouse,) and equally strong. The model of these vessels are perfect. With long sharp bows, armed with heavy iron plate, the center part of the bottom is broad. This gives the properties of great speed, added to light draught -- ( they are to draw but eight feet water - -- great recommendations and advantages for the route on which they are to run, which is between Milwaukee and Grand Haven.
      The engines are building on the same plan of the boats, with reference to great power and perfect construction. These are being manufactured at the Shepard Iron Works, and a more interesting sight cannot be seen than the patterning, moulding, casting, polishing, &c., of the immense machinery. The portions already completed do great credit to Buffalo manufacturers, and when they are completed will have a wholesome effect in bringing other and larger orders for such machinery to our city.
      The cylinders of these engines are sixty inches in diameter, with a stroke of twelve feet, with tubular boilers as large as could be got into the boat. One of them now ready to put into the MILWAUKEE, lying in the street, is quite as large as a common two story house.
      We have no farther space or time for farther description of these vessels, but we intend when the first vessel comes out, to make a complete report of everything connected with them. As they stand now they are monuments of the skill of our Buffalo mechanics and manufacturers.
      Buffalo Daily Republic
      April 15, 1859

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building, Buffalo
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit (Steamboat), 15 Apr 1859