The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
St. Catharines Journal (St. Catharines, ON), January 13, 1853


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Full Text

Wreck Of The Erie - Submarine Operation - In a recent conversation with Mr. Quigley, of Portland, in this county [Chautauqua, New York], who is associated with Mr. Green, the well-known diver, in the work of raising vessels by the submarine armor, we gathered some interesting particulars concerning the wreck of the Erie and submarine operations.

Messrs. Green and Quigley are now acting in conjunction with a company who have secured the use of one of Bishop's Patent Boom Derricks for raising wrecks, the business of the former being to explore the wrecks as they lie on the bottom and make fast the tacle for raising them. They have recently been reconnortering the wreck of the Erie for this purpose, but have been compelled to suspend operations for the present in consequence of bad weather. - The wreck lies off Silver Creek, about 3 miles from the shore in 60 feet of water. One object of the explorers has been the discovery of the safe, which is supposed to be still on the boat but they have not yet been able to penetrate to its supposed locality. In prosecuting their search they have found some specie which belonged to the ill-fated passengers, and which was melted by the heat into a variety of curious forms. One specimen show by Mr. Q. may be seen at your office. Many bones were also strewed about the wreck. The engine with the exception of one shaft, which was raised during a former attempt to raise the wreck, is still on board. By means of the submarine armor Mr. Q. informs us, the diver is enabled to remain under the water from three to four hours without inconvenience, and in one instance, Mr. Green remained under five hours on the Erie. Air is supplied to the diver through a flexible tube by a force pump. He communicates with the surface by pulling a cord, and is also provided with a slate for writing, which is drawn up, upon signal, by those above. When the suface is comparatively still there is sufficient light to enable one to read common news print without difficulty. In descending, if lowered quickly, a painful sensation and dizziness is experienced by the diver during the first 30 feet, if lowered slowly, however, the lungs gradually become accustomed to the pressure of the air, and little inconvenience is occassioned. The weight required to sink the diver does not have to be increased in proportion to the depth; after a certain distance, as the pressure of the water above assists to counteract the buoyant tendency of that below. A weight of 124 pounds is used in descending to the Erie. A bottle tighly corked and hermetically sealed with wax was lowered, the neck uppermost, by Mr. Quigley, to the wreck of the Atlantic, 110 feet, and when drawn up was found two-thirds filled with water. A second experiment was made of lowering the bottle neck downwards, and no water was found in the bottle, showing that the air in the first instance, escaped through the cork. We understand that operations for raising the Erie will be continued as soon in the spring as the weather will permit. - Fredonia Censor.


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Date of Original:
January 13, 1853
Local identifier:
GLN.3930
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
Peter Warwick
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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St. Catharines Journal (St. Catharines, ON), January 13, 1853