The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Hamilton Spectator (Hamilton, ON), May 6, 1874, page 3

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The Launch Of The Celtic
A Fine Vessel And A Successful Launch

Half Hamilton seemed to have turned out yesterday to witness the launch of the propeller Celtic, built by Mr. Archibald Robertson. Three o'clock was the hour named for the operation and before that time the bluff overlooking the Bay, the shipyard, and the the piers, were crowded with an immense throng, while several hundreds swarmed upon the vessel itself. Flags floated from every part of her, the Dominion flag at the stern, and the stars and strips from a line running to the main top, while streamers, bearing the names of the ports to which she is expected to trade, were hoisted at intervals on the hurricane deck. The flag bearing the vessel's name was furled at her masthead, to be loosened to the breeze the moment she touched the water.

For some time the note of preparation had been heard, but at three o'clock the only sound audible beside the hum of voices was the clatter caused by men driving wedges under the ways to raise the vessel slightly. Then this too ceased, and at 3:25 the rope holding her to the land was cut, and amid cheers and the waving of hats and handkerchiefs, the vessel slowly slipped down the greased ways and entered the water. As she did so, Miss Eugenie Mackay, broke a bottle of champagne over her bow and christened her the Celtic, and the flag with the name was unfurled at the masthead. So easily did she take to the water that not a single roll was felt, and those who had firmly grasped rope or rail to steady themselves found the precaution quite unnecessary. Many of those who stood on the pier, however, were not so fortunate, for the wave thrown up by the vessel invaded their standing place, and washed not a few from head to foot. Considerable amusement was caused by this invasion of Hamilton by the cold water movement.

Several men and boys, who had evidently attended launches before, now shot out in boats from convenient nooks to pick up the wedges and other loose wood carried down by the vessel. The birth as well as the death of a ship furnishes much flotsam and jitsam which are lawful prize to those who rescue them.

The steamer Corinthian then towed the Celtic to McKay's wharf, where she now lies; and a large company sat down in the carpenter shop to a most excellent lunch, to which full justice was done. Mr. Adam Hope occupied the chair and Capt. Larkin the vice chair. The toastes given were "the Queen," "the Governor-General," "Mr. McKay," "Mr. Robertson," "the Press," "Captain Sinclair," "Thomas Wilson & Co. of Dundas," "Mr. Blain of Galt," "Mr. Abbey of Port Robinson," "Mr. Hope," "Captain Larkin," and "the ladies," all of which were received with enthusiasm and appropriately responded to.

The Celtic is a fine a propeller as any that has been built for the lake trade. She is classed "A1 with a star", and has a carrying capacity of over 500 tons, or 18,000 bushels of grain; her length of keel is 137 feet, length over all 144 feet, breadth of beam 26 feet 1 inch, depth of hold 12 ft. Her engines were built by Thomas Wilson & Co., of Dundas, and are low pressure, and are the same class as those built for vessels belonging to the Lake and River Steam Navigation Co. The cylinders are 34 inches diameter and 34 inches stroke, and will work at about 75 to 80 revolutions. The engine is of extra strength. The boiler is of a new design, is cylindrical, with three round furnaces and return tubes, having greater heating surface than any previously built by this firm. A great saving of fuel is expected from these improvements. The Celtic is the ninth vessel furnished with engines and boilers by Messrs. Wilson & Co. within three years. A pony engine and boiler will be used for loading and unloading.

A number of staterooms will be fitted up on the upper deck, and the whole vessel will be comfortably warmed by means of steam pipes.

Mr. McKay intimates that he will probably soon have a vessel built which will be employed in the West India trade.

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May 6, 1874
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Peter Warwick
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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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Hamilton Spectator (Hamilton, ON), May 6, 1874, page 3