A slight departure from the regulation style of rounded deck in the whalebacks has been made in the steamer FRANKLIN ROCKEFELLER, which was launched at West Superior on Saturday last. The deck is flatter and tile sides straighter than any of the other whalebacks. This is the thirty-seventh whaleback ship now afloat. The steamer just launched has eleven center line hatches, each 12 by 8 feet, and ten side hatches on the port side, each 6 by 4 feet. This arrangement will permit of twenty-one ore spouts being lowered into the vessel when loading. The ROCKEFELLER is 382 feet long, 45 feet beam and 26 feet deep. Her triple expansion engines, as well as three Scotch boilers, were built by the Cleveland Ship Building Co. The engines have cylinders Of 23, 38 and 63 inches diameter by 40 inches stroke, and tile boilers are 12 feet in diameter by 13 feet long, each having three 38 inch furnaces, and capable of withstanding 175 pounds working steam pressure, The propeller is 13 feet 6 inches in diameter and 16 feet pitch. Alike to all of tile other modern whalebacks, this steamer is fitted with a complete electrical plant for lighting purposes and has steam windlass, steam capstans, etc.
April 23, 1896
The whaleback steamer FRANK ROCKEFELLER was launched at Superior on Saturday.
Port Huron Daily Times
Monday, April 27, 1896
Duluth, April 26. -- The launch of the whaleback steamer FRANKLIN ROCKEFELLER yesterday afternoon was an exciting affair. Fifteen minutes before, the time set for the launch, the anchor lines to the bow broke, and the bow started down the ways without warning. A gang of men who were greasing the way had barely time to get out of the way. The stern lines were cut in time to avoid a serious accident. When the bow struck the water it sent waves 200 feet across the slip. A thousand people there were taken unawares and soaked through as the waves dashed into the shed where they were located to watch the launch. On one was hurt. Over 6,000 people witnessed the launch. The new boat is 382 feet long, 45 feet beam, and 26 feet deep. Her registered tonnage is 2013. Her consort will be ready to launch in about ten days.
Toronto Mail & Empire
April 27, 1896
Steam screw FRANK ROCKEFELLER. U. S. No. 121015. Of 2759 gross tons; 2013 tons net. Built Superior, Wis., 1896. Home port, Buffalo, N.Y. 366.5 x 45.0 x 26.0 Of 1850 nominal horse-power [estimated]
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1899