The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 14 Apr, 1872

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HUMAN MUSCLE VS. STEAM. - A correspondent of the Toronto Mail, writing from Port Rowen [sic] under the date of April 10, relates the following:

A most exciting contest came off here to-day. Two gentlemen made three bets as follows: First: Twenty picked men could hold the steam tug Watchman, twenty-five horse power, owned by Mr. Davis, of Collingwood. Second bet: That ten men could hold her. Third bet: That twenty five men could stop her under way, and the men to have one hundred feet of coil to get under way. The tug lost all three contests. Two minutes were allowed for each trial. The contest was witnessed by a large number of spectators. A considerable amount of money changed hands.

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At first thought it seems that the tug would be the easy winner in the first two contests, until you think of how simple it would be for a couple people ashore to hold back a fishing boat with a 25 horsepower engine. To me it doesn't seem possible, though, that 25 men could stop even a small tug once it got under way. Now were're talking momentum, rather than horsepower.
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14 Apr, 1872
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Dave Swayze
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), 14 Apr, 1872