The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
John Roebling (Barge), 8 Jun 1899

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      On a recent trip from Duluth to Conneaut, the Bessemer company's steamer SAMUEL F.B. MORSE, towing one of the biggest of the Rockefeller barges (the two vessels carrying approximately 13,000 gross tons) made an average of 11.2 miles an hour for the entire distance from the head of the lakes to the ore unloading port, with no allowance of any kind for checks in the rivers or canals. Last season's record of 7,023 gross or 7,866 net tons of ore moved from Duluth to Conneaut in the Bessemer barge ROEBLING still leads the cargo list on the great lakes. It is not expected, of course, that any of the big steamer coming out this year, although of greater dimensions than the Bessemer barges, will equal them in capacity, as the barges have no space given up to machinery. The new Wilson line steamer HENRY W. OLIVER will probably carry 6,700 gross tons on the draught of close to 18 feet that is expected in the rivers later on.
      The Marine Review
      June 8, 1899

      Official measurements of the schooner JOHN SMEATON, recently launched by the Superior Shipbuilding Co. for the Bessemer Steamship Co. are: Register length, 458 feet; tonnage length, 456 feet, breadth, 50.2 feet, depth, 25 feet, tonnage depth amidships, 24.66 feet: under tonnage deck, 4,904.04 tons; enclosed spaces above tonnage deck. 145.80 tons, total gross tonnage, 5,049.84; total deductions from gross tonnage, 324, register or net tonnage, 4,725.84. This makes the SMEATON 356 gross and 278 net tons larger than the schooner JOHN A. ROEBLING and 123 gross and 427 net tons larger than the steamer SAMUEL F.B. MORSE, built for the Bessemer company last year.
      The Marine Review
      July 6, 1899

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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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John Roebling (Barge), 8 Jun 1899