The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
John W. Gates (Propeller), U77407, 25 Jan 1900

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The first 500 foot freighter for service on the great lakes was launched the Lorain ship yard of the American Ship Building Co. on Saturday last, and General Manager James C. Wallace was favored with a very distinguished company at a sumptuous repast that followed the launching. The guests included President John W. Gates and other leading Officers of the American Steel & Wire Co., as well as Mrs. Gates, who christened the steamer. A large party of officers of the ship building company, as well as some of the vessel owners, who were in attendance at the Detroit meeting of the Lake Carriers' Association, also visited Cleveland so as to join in the launching ceremony. This steamer is the first of four big carriers building for the American Steamship Co. (controlled by American Steel & Wire interests) and which will each carry bout 9,000 net tons per trip. The second of them, to be named for James Hill of the Great Northern R'y, will be launched in a couple of weeks. The GATES is a steel, bulk freight steamer and is within a few inches at 500 feet over all. The length on keel is 478 feet, beam molded 52 feet, and depth 30 feet. Steel is used for masts, deck houses, and in fact in almost every part of the vessel, wood being dispensed with whenever possible The GATES has thirteen water-tight compartments and has a capacity for 3,500 tons of water ballast. There are five longitudinal girders on each side of the center line of the hull. The between-deck beams are spaced 8 feet apart throughout the length of the cargo holds, and consists of 15-inch heavy channels attached to 15-inch channel bent frames, similarly spaced, and these in connection with spar deck beams and channel floors, make a succession of continuous heavy members 8 feet art throughout the length of the ship. These in turn are strongly connected and braced longitudinally by stringers and girders, making the lip exceptionally strong. There are fifteen cargo hatches 30 by 8 feet in the clear, spaced 24 feet centers. The cargo holds are divided into six compartments by water-tight bulkheads and steel doors. The vessel will e fitted with a quadruple expansion engine with cylinders of 16 1/2, 25 1/2, 38 1/2 and 60 inches in diameter and 40 inches stroke. These engines ill drive a wheel 14 feet in diameter and 15 1/2 feet pitch. Steam will be supplied from Babcock & Wilcox water tube boilers having 140 square feet of grate surface, 6,800 square feet of heating surface and working 250 pounds pressure. The boilers are fitted with Learmonth purifiers. Crowe patent furnace and a forced draft system. The coal bunkers will eve a capacity of 300 tons. The auxiliaries include Globe steam steering car, Globe steam capstan windlass, American Ship Building Company's Building machines for handling wire mooring lines, International company's anchors and a complete electric light plant, operated by compound engines. The GATES will have three steel pole masts, with pilot house and texas adjoining the forecastle, and a raised quarterdeck over machinery and boiler space. The chart house and pilot house, as well as captain's quarters, one stateroom and rooms for mates, wheelsmen, watchmen, firemen, deckhands, etc., will all be in the upper forward part of the vessel. Two deckhouses amidships will be devoted entirely to passengers. Quarters for engineers, oilers, steward, as well as engineers' storerooms, kitchen, crew's mess rooms, dining room, etc., will be situated below the quarterdeck aft.
The GATES will be commanded by Capt. Ralph Lyons, who has been the head of the list of captains in the Wolvin fleet for a long time past, and Andrew Haas will be chief engineer.
      The Marine Review
      January 25, 1900

      Lorain, April 27. -- The steamer JOHN W. GATES, the first of the 500-footers and the largest ship on the Great Lakes, departed for Duluth tonight on her maiden trip. She is the latest addition to the fleet owned by the American Steel & Iron Co. John W. Gates and a party of friends will ride on her during the trip.
      Milwaukee Library Scrapbook
      April 28, 1900

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launch, Lorain, & maiden trip
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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John W. Gates (Propeller), U77407, 25 Jan 1900