The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Oscillating Engines of Propeller Granite State
The Monthly Nautical Magazine and Quarterly Review (New York, NY), June 1855, pp. 245-46

Full Text

Office of "The Buffalo Steam Engine Works,"
Corner of Washington and Ohio streets.

Buffalo, April 19th 1855.

Messrs. Griffiths & Bates, —

Gents : — Capt. H. Whittaker has requested me to send you a description of the engines in the propeller " Granite State," of Messrs. Crawford & Chamberlin's line on the Western Lakes. The dimensions of the boat are as follows :— Length of keel, 137 feet; breadth of beam 25 feet; depth of hold, 11 feet; draught of water when ready for sea, 9 feet. Dimensions of Engine — Cylinder, 24 inch diameter of bore, and 36 inch length of stroke, (oscillating), connected direct to crank-pin on propeller-shaft, without intermediate gearing and with a propeller- wheel of 11 feet diameter, 16-5 feet pitch, 26 inches wide fore and aft. At draught of 9 feet per average speed is 10 miles per hour, engines making 80 revolutions, and with 100 lbs. pressure per square inch. The engine will make 95 revolutions, giving her a speed of 12.5 to 13 miles per hour. The boiler is a return tubular, and has 1100 feet of effective fire surface. The whole amount of machinery, including boiler, weighs 24 tons. She will consume about 1 1-8 cord of wood per hour at the above speeds. I built the engine in Cleveland, in the year 1852, and I believe it is the first and only one of the kind that has ever been put in successful operation on the Western Lakes. It has not failed in any respect, but has given entire satisfaction to the owners. However, during the constructing of it, there were many builders and engineers who pronounced it a humbug and failure; but practice has proved [p. 246] their objections to be hypothetical, and it is now acknowledged that oscillators are the best description of engine for marine purposes, as they possess a compactness not obtainable in any olher form short of a rotary, and present few of the difficulties anticipated. I have several other engines on the Lakes, and am now building for Mr. Luthan Moses two engines of same description, to be put in one vessel of 200 feet keel, 36 feet beam, 13 feet hold, two wheels same as above, two return tubular boilers.

Respectfully, your obd't. serv't.,
E. H. Rees, Sup't

Rees, E. H., Correspondent
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Date of Original:
June 1855
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.5941644852184 Longitude: -82.3806381225586
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Oscillating Engines of Propeller Granite State