The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Vandalia (Propeller), 1 Nov 1841

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From the oswego Whig.
"Ericssons Propeller.-It will be seen by an advertisment in our susequent columns that our friend, Capt. J. Van Cleve has become interested in this truly important invention, and is now about introducing it upon our water; and we umderstand our forwarders contemplate establishing a daily line of freight schooners with these propellers, between Oswego and Cleveland during the next season, which will insure the transportation of goods from New York to Ohio by this route in nine days, without any referance to weather.
This invention to those engaged in nautical operations, must prove invaluable; and although we do not profess to be competent judges ourself in such matters, the experiment has been tried in New York, and its practicable application has been fully tested, in the presence of the best judges. An important recommedation is its simplicity and cheapness -- occupying only about ten feet square in the extreme stern of the vessel; the machinery including the water in the boiler, weighing (when sufficiently large to propel to a vessel of one hundred am' fifty tons, when loaded, at the rate of seven miles an hour,) only five tons and a half, and this in no wise interfering with the cargo, as it serves only as ballast, and the vessel will carry as much with as without it, and the cost of the engine and fitting into each schooner the trifling sum of $2,000. Fuel necessary for a trip to Cleveland $25. With these propellers our vessels can make two trips where they now make only one; and a defiance had to contrary winds &c. The propellers are not either at all in the way in her passage through the canal."
      The above is the latest Oswego humbug, got up to gull an innocent public, and would not be deemed worthy of notice, did we not see that several of the New York papers swallow it as gospel, and announce the existence of a line of schooners to trade between Oswego and Cleveland, or ports in the upper lakes, all rigged with "the Ericsson propellers." No such line has been formed, and will not be, for the simple reason that a schooner with such an appendage could not get through the WeIland Canal.
      We take it that fuel must be cheap in and about Oswego, if less than three dollars' worth will answer to get up steam enough to propel a schooner of 150 tons burthen, for 24 hours, at the rate of seven miles an hour. It must be a remarkably wooden country that can afford to furnish fuel at such a cheap rate. But, perhaps, it is only intended to warm the water. The absurdity of the humbug is well set forth, in the subjoined communication from a gentleman in command of a vessel on the upper lakes, who has been engaged, in a like capacity, in the trade between Oswego and Cleveland, and can speak by the card:
      Welland Canal absolutely on fire The Oswego Whig of the 17th ult. contains an article relative to the Ericsson propellers, that sheds a flood of glory upon the prospects of Oswego and the Welland Canal trade, absolutely blinding us with its bright radiance. It appears by the article that the propellers will enable the Oswego vessels to make two
trips to Cleveland where they now make one, and to carry goods from New York to that place in nine days. The average time of a trip between Oswego and Cleveland, with canvas, is now about twenty days, one half of which would be ten. But this little discrepancy will admit of explanation, for, as we understand, the Oswegonians intend to employ the propellers on the Oswego and Erie Canal, where it is supposed it will make a trip in one day less than no time, and deducting that from the ten days, leaves exactly nine, without reference to winds or weather, as the puff says, nor to mathematics either.
      Another wom'erful fact is, that although the machinery weighs five tons and a half, and occupies ten feet square, the vessel will carry just as much with as without it--one of the most singular facts on record, and the reason is because it "acts as ballast" --(salt or goods would not answer for that purpose,) and because the room taken up is aft.
      Commercial Advertiser & Journal, Buffalo
      Friday evening, April 2, 1841 p.2 col.1

Ericsson Propellers. - The new and elegant schooner VANDALIA, to which is attached the above invention, built at this port the past summer by our enterprising fellow-citizens, Messrs. Bronson & Crocker, Mr. S. Doolittle and Capt. J. Van. Cleve, has just made her first trip, and has more than realized the most sanguine expectations of her owners and friends. The practicability of the application of the propellers for lake navigation has been fully tested, this vessel having been out in some of our roughest weather. Last Thursday she entered our harbor in fine style at the rate of seven or eight knots per hour, without any assistance but her propeller.
      Oswego County Whig
      Saturday, November 27, 1841

      FOR CHICAGO. - The new steam packet CHICAGO, left this place on the evening of the 1st inst. with a full freight, and upwards of 80 passengers. The excellent accommodations, reasonable fare and expedition afforded by this line of packets, is rapidly attracting public attention, and we predict, this will soon be the popular line for the travel and emigration to the great west. The VANDALIA, of this line, is now in port, and will sail on the 10th inst.
      Oswego Palladium
      Wednesday, June 8, 1842


      The First Propeller. - Ericsson made the first experiment with his Propeller engine on the ship ³Clarion² in 1840. She had been running between New York and Havana, as a freight ship, and the engine was placed in her
without any alteration of her hull or rigging.
      The experiment was not satisfactory, but the enterprising inventer was not at all discouraged. The next experiment, as we are informed, was made on Lake Ontario, and then a vessel, the "Vandalia," was built with special reference to the use of the engine. This was the first practical and satisfactory application of the evention.
      The "Vandalia" was built in oswego in 1841, by Sylvester Doolittle, Esq., an enterprising and public spirited citizen of that place, who is in fact the pioneer in construction and running of Propellers. The construction of the "Vandalia" was an experiment which proved successful beyone the most sanguine expectations of the friends of the enterprise, and let to the subsequent building of the large number now navigating the lakes.
      Buffalo Morning Express
      September 24, 1847


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testing propeller
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Vandalia (Propeller), 1 Nov 1841