The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), Nov. 1, 1904


Description
Full Text
SELL OFF ITS SMALL BOATS
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REPORTED PLAN OF THE U.S. STEEL CORPORATION
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FIRST STEP IN DIRECTION OF MODERNIZING THE FLEET
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ORDERING FOUR BIG BOATS WAS PART OF THE MOVEMENT
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It was reported from Cleveland last evening that the Pittsburg Steamship Co., the lake end of the United States Steel Corporation, has under consideration the selling of a number of the small boats of the fleet and several of them may go to the coast before the end of the present season of navigation. It is expected the deal will be closed this week.

It is said the management of the fleet is anxious to dispose of all the whalebacks of the fleet, owing to the small margin of profit in operating medium sized carriers in the lake trade.

While it cannot be officially announced in so many words it can nevertheless be definitely set down that it is the purpose of the Pittsburg Steamship Co. to modernize its entire fleet of vessel on the great lakes. There is no other meaning to the recent order placed by Mr. Harry Coulby, the president and general manager of the Pittsburg Steamship Co., with the American Shipbuilding Co., for four freighters exceeding in dimensions anything on the great lakes.

Already the Pittsburg Steamship Co. has offered for sale some of its whalebacks, which are among its smaller class of vessels, and will in addition, as rapidly as it can do so, dispose of its other moderate sized freighters. If it cannot actually sell them the policy of this giant corporation for scrapping its machinery is especially significant when taken in connection with its determination to bring its fleet to the highest possible state of efficiency. It should be borne in mind, however, that the fleet of the Pittsburg Steamship Co., consisting of 112 vessels, is a modern fleet and that its average carrying capacity is high.

The average cargoes carried by its entire fleet in 1904 was 4,586 tons. The following table, which is compiled from the actual bills of lading, shows that fifty-five of its vessels carry between 5,000 and 7,000 gross tons, five between 4,000 and 5,000 gross tons, twenty-eight between 3,000 and 4,000 tons, and twenty-three under 3,000 tons:

OVER 5,000 TONS.
Bessemer5,459
Bell5,550
Black6,021
Bunsen6,632
Coralia5,331
Cornell6,499
Crescent City5,705
Edenborn7,074
Ellwood7,232
Empire City5,672
Ericsson5,357
Fairbairn5,208
Fulton5,411
Gates7,031
Harvard6,623
Hill7,010
Houghton5,842
Lafayette6,588
Linn5,330
Maricopa5,464
Mataafa6,313
Maunaloa6,000
Malletoa6,756
McDougall6,276
Morse6,383
Murphy6,820
Poe7,027
Thomas5,223
Princeton6,423
Queen City5,598
Rensselaer6,748
Shaw6,900
Siemens5,461
Stephenson5,558
Superior City6,088
Van Hise6,657
Watt5,508
Zenith City5,098
Bryn Mawr6,725
Carrington5,200
Corliss5,320
Fritz7,054
Holley5,309
Jenney5,354
Krupp5,143
Martha5,149
Magna5,262
Maia5,627
Manda5,145
Manila7,019
Madeira6,990
Marsala7,012
Nasmyth5,272
Roebling6,890
Smeaton7,192
ABOVE 4,000 TONS AND UNDER 5,000 TONS.
Eads4,716
Maritana4,145
Rockefeller4,648
Mariposa4,074
1374,916
ABOVE 3,000 AND UNDER 4,000 TONS
Briton3,124
Colgate3,426
Corona3,108
German3,134
Corsica3,100
Gilbert3,826
Grecian3,256
Manola3,003
Mariska3,110
Maruba3,243
Matoa3,040
Marina3,037
Mather3,274
Malta3,984
Marcia3,978
Neilson3,359
Roman3,080
Saxon3,050
Trevor3,118
1063,030
1073,060
1173,160
1183,196
1303,120
1313,186
1323,100
1333,127
1343,106
UNDER 3,000 TONS.
Bartlett2,490
Cambria2,500
Colgate Hoyt2,526
Colby2,400
Cort2,998
Griffin2,650
Joliet2,850
La Salle2,700
Masaba2,994
Palmer2,600
Russell2,788
Whitworth2,800
1092,741
1102,770
1112,779
1162,736
1262,739
1272,741
2012,238
2022,206
Thompson2,620
Wawatam2,671
Wolvin2,767

The vessels of the steel corporation have a carrying capacity in months of good dispatch of 1,500,000 tons. In a season of eight months, granting good dispatch, they could carry 12,000,000 tons. However, seasons are not always eight months long and good dispatch is not always the rule, so that 10,000,000 tons for the season would be more nearly the general average than 12,000,000 tons. These four new freighters which have just been ordered, however, can easily carry 80,000 tons during a season, so that with them the carrying capacity of the of the steel corporation's fleet can safely be regarded as 11,000,000 tons. The steel corporation brought down in 1902 16,500,000 tons of ore, of which amount about 6,500,000 was carried in chartered vessels. In 1903 it brought down 12,500,000 tons, of which amount about 3,000,000 tons was carried in chartered vessels. It is not known how much tonnage it has chartered this year, but it is somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000,000 tons. It can, therefore, be seen that the needs of the corporation for ore fluctuate considerably. In building these four new vessels it does not appear to be the aim of the corporation to make its vessel capacity equal to its demands for ore. It will probably continue to be for some years the heaviest charterer of tonnage on the great lakes.

It does appear, however, to be disposed to completely modernize its great fleet so that it may reap the greatest possible profit out of the transportation end of its own business; and it must be admitted that in the work of modernizing its fleet it occupies a most unique position because it is naturally unaffected by the price of steel. It will doubtless see that its own plate is supplied for its own ships.


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Date of Original:
Nov. 1, 1904
Local identifier:
GLN.5484
Language of Item:
English
Donor:
Dave Swayze
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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Detroit Free Press (Detroit, MI), Nov. 1, 1904