The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
John Smeaton (Barge), 16 Mar 1899

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      Following out the scheme of naming vessels of the Bessemer Steamship Co. (Rockefeller fleet) for men of special attainments in the iron and steel industry, it has been decided to give the name DOUGLAS HOUGHTON to the steamer building at the works of the Globe Company, Cleveland. This is honoring an eminent geologist of the state of Michigan, to whom the steel industry is indebted for much pertaining to the Gogebic ore range.
      The tow barge nearing completion at West Superior will be named JOHN SMEATON. Names for the other vessels to be built at the works of the American Steel Barge Co.. West Superior. have not been announced as yet, as these vessels are not to go into commission until the spring of 1900. John Smeaton was the inventor of the cast iron blowing cylinder, which greatly facilitated the manufacture of pig iron. Mr. Smeaton's cylindrical cast iron bellows. taking the place of the wooden or leather bellows, was used for the first time in connection with James Watt's improvements in the steam engine at the Carron Iron Works in Scotland, about 1769. The effect of the introduction of both of these improvements in blast furnace machinery was to greatly increase the blast and consequently to increase the production of iron. The blast, however continued to be cold at all furnaces. both coke and charcoal, and so remained until 1828, when James Beaumont Neilson of Scotland invented the hot blast. which is now in general use.
      The Marine Review
      March 16, 1899

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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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John Smeaton (Barge), 16 Mar 1899