The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Knapp's Roller Boat (Boat), C...., 1 Sep 1897

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Toronto, September 10. -- Frederick August Knapp's much talked of Roller Boat which has been under construction in Polson's yard here for some time past, is now afloat in Toronto Bay.
The vessel is cylindrical in shape and is 110 feet long over all and about twenty five feet in diameter. The diameter is the same to within five feet of either end when the cylinder begins to taper, rapidly decreasing to a diameter of fifteen feet at either end. The draft will be twenty-three inches.
The original design of the inventor has been considerably changed. Instead of having a heavy stationary cylinder around which the outer part would revolve as at first intended, there is nothing at all in the center of the hull. At either end there is to be a platform resting upon wheels which touch the revolving part. This platform will be weighted and remain stationary.
      On the platform will be placed two engines with upright boilers behind them. These engines will transmit power to a huge driving wheel placed between them and this wheel will by a system of cogs cause the hull to revolve. There will be a platform similarly equipped at each end of the hull.
      The platforms will travel on four big driving wheels and weigh about fifteen tons with engines and boilers complete. Mr. Knapp proposes to suspend the platforms and use swinging gravity, but has allowed the engineers in charge of the construction to use the direct application.
The whole craft will weigh 100 tons and 500 hundred square feet of area will be in actual contact with the water.
      The boat, which is expected by its inventor to travel at the rate of a mile a minute, will be steered by two huge rudders or tall boards, one at each end, just below the platforms. Steam steering gear will likely be used.
      Milwaukee Wisconsin
      September 11, 1897

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building, Toronto
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William R. McNeil
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Knapp's Roller Boat (Boat), C...., 1 Sep 1897