The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Rideau Queen (Propeller), C107742, 8 Nov 1900

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      A small passenger vessel, but a very trim one and in every way up to date, is the steamer RIDEAU QUEEN, owned by the Rideau Lakes Navigation Co., Ltd., of Kingston, Ont. The RIDEAU QUEEN, alike to other vessels of the fleet to which she belongs, was designed and built by Mr. M. R. Davis of Kingston, who is to build another similar vessel during the coming winter for the same company. The route followed by these vessels between Kingston and Ottawa, Ont., a distance of 126 ½ miles, is what is known as the Rideau canal. But it is not an ordinary canal. It is a waterway between the two cities mentioned, made by connecting a large number of beautiful lakes. The actual canal is comparatively short, while the lakes afford delightful sails and scenery. The canal was constructed by the British government as a military work, at a cost of $5,000,000, as far back as 1830. If, in the time of war, the navigation of the St. Lawrence was interrupted, this canal, in conjunction with the Ottawa river, would furnish direct communication between Montreal and the great lakes.
      Dimensions of the RIDEAU QUEEN are: Length over all, 111 ½ ft. length on water line, 102 ft., beam over all, 28 ft., draught, aft, 4 ½ ft. draught, forward, 3 ft.; displacement, about 200 tons. The hull is built of oak and tamarack (double frame) all screw-bolted throughout, with a double row of arches the full length of the steamer under decks. As the limit of draught in the canals is 5 ft., it was quite a difficult matter to secure in the design all that was required for an up-to-date steamer, but after a season's work the owners are more than satisfied with their vessel.
      Engines are triple expansion with cylinders of 8 1/2, 12 3/4 and 27 in. diameter and a common stroke of 14 in. The high and intermediate cylinders have piston valves, with flat slide valve for the low pressure. Steam at 200 lbs. pressure is supplied by a water tube boiler of 8 ft. width, 9 ft. height and 9 ft. length, containing 1,500 sq. ft. of heating surface. With the engines turning 125 revolutions per minute the speed of the vessel is full 12 miles an hour.
In the arrangement of cabins, state rooms and general accommodations for passengers this vessel is as complete as the largest of the passenger steamers on the great lakes. On the main deck aft is the dining room where seventy-two people may be comfortably seated. This room is 41 ft. long, extends the full width of the vessel and is unusually well lighted. It is finished in oak and nicely decorated with plenty of hooks, racks and other conveniences. A ladies' cabin, 80 ft. long, is one of the features of the vessel as regards finish and furnishings. This cabin is finished in white with green and gold trimmings, this style prevailing quite generally in the cabins. A ladies' toilet, finished in red oak and highly polished, contains every convenience that might be desired, and forward of it is a bath room, similarly finished, and having hot and cold water connections with the best of plumbing throughout. Some seventeen or eighteen state rooms, all elegantly finished, have running water as well as a cold air pipe for a supply of fresh air, furnished by a fan from the lower part of the vessel. The fan is operated by an independent motor. The vessel is very well lighted by electricity. There are 240 lights of 10 to 16 candle power, with a few of 32 candle power. All are arranged in groups, which are controlled by twenty-four switches in the engine room under the eye of the engineer, who has full control of the lights. The vessel is also supplied with a full set of oil lamps for use in emergency It will probably be noted that the vessel's smoke stack is very low. This is necessary on account of the large number of bridges on the Rideau route. On other vessels of the line an arrangement for lowering stacks is in use, but it is troublesome and expensive, and hence the lower stack in this steamer. Concerns taking part in the construction of this vessel are: Davis Dry Dock Co., Kingston, engines and hollers, Snow Pump Works, Buffalo, all pumps and condenser; Buffalo Forge Co. Buffalo ventilating fan for air system, Racine Hardware Mfg. Co.. Racine, Wis., electric light engine; Waddell Mfg. Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., all sawed moldings; Geo. Mertz Sons, Port Chester, all
embossed moldings.
      Marine Review
      November 8, 1900

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built Kingston
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William R. McNeil
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Rideau Queen (Propeller), C107742, 8 Nov 1900