The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Scanner, v. 2, n. 6 (March 1970)
Scanner (Toronto, ON), Mar 1970

Bascom, John N., Editor
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Meetings; Marine News; Seaway Tolls; Exit The Lansdowne; A Short History And Fleet List
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Mar 1970
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Toronto Marine Historical Society
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Regular meetings of the Society will be held Friday, March 6th, and Friday, April 3rd, at the Marine Museum. Speaker at the March meeting will be Mr. John Brannen who will speak on the Manchester Lines.

FRIDAY, MAY 1st, 1970 - 6:00 P.M.

For a Dinner and Cruise aboard the Schooner, HARRY W. ADAMS.

The Toronto Marine Historical Society will hold its May dinner meeting aboard this fine schooner now being refitted at Toronto. The dinner will be a cold buffet served aboard, followed by a sail around Toronto Harbour, out into Lake Ontario via the Eastern Gap and around the Island, returning via the Western Gap.

Members may bring their wives, girl-friends or any other guests, but in order that the ship will not be over-crowded, reservations will be limited. Please make certain to get your reservation in early so as not to miss this event. The ship will leave from the foot of Yonge Street and there will be parking available.

Cost - $6.00 per person. Please contact either the Treasurer, Mr. J. Kidd, or the Editor for tickets.

Marine News

One more of the lake craneships has been removed from service with the retirement of the WILLIAM H. DONNER, owned by the Bethlehem Steel Corp., and operated by Boland & Cornelius of Buffalo. We understand that the proposed sale of the 1914-built steamer, one of a vanishing breed of specialty carriers, to the Miller Compressing Co. of Milwaukee, has yet to be completed. It is believed that her running mate, CAMBRIA, will also be retired shortly.

The Columbia Transportation Division, Oglebay Norton & Co., has purchased the Interlake self-unloader, FRANK PURNELL (II). Built in 1943 for the U.S. Maritime Commission, the ship is the most widely travelled of all the vessels of her class having sailed previously as PILOT KNOB (II) and then as STEELTON (II) for the Bethlehem Steel Corp. She was involved in a very interesting deal when in 1965 she was traded by Bethlehem to Interlake in exchange for her sister ship, FRANK PURNELL (I). The two ships then exchanged names and the second PURNELL was converted to a self-unloader.

The Kinsman Marine Transit Co. has announced that the bulk carrier, WILLIAM J.OLCOTT, idle for ten years and now being refitted for service, will be renamed GEORGE E. SEEDHOUSE, in honour of a prominent Clevelander. She is due to re-enter service this year.

On February 11, Marine Salvage Ltd., of Port Colborne, purchased the veteran Canadian lakers MATHEWSTON (1922) and NIXON BERRY (1920) for scrapping. Both ships were owned by Scott Misener Steamships Ltd. The BERRY had sailed for a number of years as Tomlinson's MERTON E. FARR and was notable in being the last ship built by the Detroit Shipbuilding Co. at Wyandotte, Michigan. The MATHEWSTON started her life as a unit of the fleet of the Mathews Steamship Co., Toronto, and had only recently reverted to her original name, having been known in the interim as RALPH S. MISENER.

The 11,379-ton Liberian tanker, ARROW, was inbound with a cargo of bunker oil on February 4, 1970, when she ran aground in Cape Breton Island's Chedabucto Bay near the town of Arichat, Nova Scotia. Authorities became concerned over the spillage of oil and attempts were made to destroy the cargo. The tanker was later beset by heavy seas and broke in half on February 8th. The stern section was to be scuttled in deep water but the plan was ruined when the stern sank on the spot on February 12th. The bow soon followed suit. Plans to burn the spilled oil were hampered by the gluey consistency of the material in cold temperatures. Under charter to Imperial Oil at the time, the ARROW was a familiar visitor to the Toronto area and had been built in 1948 at Sparrows Point, Maryland.

Other oil problems have been in the news lately. Argument is still hot over who will pay for the recent removal of bunker oil from the salty NORDMEER lost in Lake Huron off Alpena in 1966. Meanwhile, observers are concerned over the possibility of bunkers leaking from the ocean ship MONROVIA, which was sunk in Lake Huron in a collision with the Misener steamer, ROYALTON, in 1959.

Three more old lakers have arrived safely at European scrapyards. The craneship BUCKEYE put in Santander, November 4th, 1969, while C. A. BENNETT and MIDLAND PRINCE arrived at Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain, in June. Demolition on the latter two began on July 31st and August 29th respectively.

Delivered to Far Eastern Shipping, a subsidiary of Federal Commerce & Navigation, was the bulk carrier, FEDERAL MACKENZIE. She was completed by Osaka Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., December 1969. 1970 will be a big year for container traffic on the lakes if present indications are correct. Three large consortia are planning to exploit the possibilities with 21 ships. Medlakes Line will again have five ships here, while Tacline (Trans-Atlantic Lakes Line) will bring in MEDIA, SCOTIA, ORNEFJELL, MAKEFJELL, CLEVELAND and CHICAGO, as well as the new ROCHAMBEAU and SUFFREN. The Scanlake Line plans to use the TOPDALSFJORD, BYKLEFJELL, BLANKAHOLM, ODENSHOLM, VRETAHOLM, OCTAVIA and JENS JOST. It is interesting to note that very few of these ships are actually designed to carry containers despite recent shipbuilding trends.

The former McAllister-Pyke tug MATHILDA, built in 1899 at Sorel, and inoperative for several years, has been sold to J. P. McAllister of New York and has arrived at the latter port via the Erie Barge Canal and the Hudson River, It is understood that she may become part of the projected South Street Seaport Museum.

For the past thirteen years, the Wilson Marine Transit Co., Cleveland, has held a contract for the transportation of ore for the Republic Steel Corp. and for the management of the Republic fleet of lakers. The contract expires December 31st, 1971, however, and Republic is now negotiating with the Cleveland Cliffs Steamship Co. which seems likely to be the successful bidder. If the deal should be finalized, it would appear that Cliffs would take over the operation of Republic's vessels and that the future of the Wilson fleet would be in considerable doubt.

Seaway Tolls

The annual dinner meeting of the Marine Historical Society of Detroit was held on February 21st at Detroit's Fort Shelby Hotel and was attended by a number of T.M.H.S. members. The speaker at the meeting was Mr. Stuart Armour, President and General Manager of the Great Lakes Waterways Development Association.

Mr. Armour spoke about the most important subject of tolls on tonnage passing through the St. Lawrence Seaway system of canals and of the effect of increased tolls on future history of the Lakes as a transportation route. He high-lighted some of the major differences in the development of inland waterways by Canada and the United States and concluded that, while Canada may have developed a great system of canals by which ships may enter the Lakes, ".... we Canadians have to pay escalating charges for the privilege of getting into or out of Lake Ontario, on the shores of which the bulk of our heavy industry is located, and through which you must pass to get into the other four Great Lakes, while Americans can still ship steel more than 2400 miles from Pittsburgh to Brownsville, Texas, or wheat from Minneapolis more than 1300 miles to Texas Gulf Ports, without paying charges of any sort for the use of the waterways concerned."

Armour called it a bad day for Canada when we agreed in 1947 to a U. S. policy of tolls on the new Seaway and he stated his belief that tolls and other cost uncertainties threaten to destroy the viability of the waterway as a transportation artery. He likened Seaway tolls to a form of export duty on raw materials shipped from Canada, and he particularly questioned "Through Tolls" which would, in effect, levy a type of import duty on products originating within Canada and destined for Canadian ports on Lake Ontario. It was pointed out that tolls are a definite inflationary factor and an increase in the canal charges will have only a bad effect on the North American financial picture.

The meeting was presented with the following illustration. "Should the U.S. succeed in persuading Canada to up Seaway tolls by 20% in 1971, and should the "Bind" Proposals become operative in 1972, the toll cost alone of moving a ton of general cargo from Montreal to Lake Erie would total $1.58. As general cargoes of 19,000 tons net have been handled into Lake Erie, the International Seaway toll cost at $1.08 a net ton would be $20,520 for such a cargo, plus a Welland Canal toll cost of $9,500 at 50¢ a net ton, for a grand total of more than $30,000." This would surely be a distressing situation for even the largest and strongest of the Lake vessel operators.

Exit The Lansdowne

For well over one hundred years there have been carferries operating across the Detroit River between Windsor and Detroit, and a large portion of this period, 87 years in fact, could well be called "The Lansdowne Era." For exactly this long, a major item on the Detroit River scene has been the paddle-driven railway ferry, LANSDOWNE.

This veteran, 294 feet in length, was completed in 1884 by the Detroit Dry Dock Co. at Wyandotte, where her iron hull was known as Hull 66. Her horizontal, low-pressure engines were built in 1872 by E.E. Gilbert & Sons at Montreal for the wooden carferry MICHIGAN (I) and they were placed in LANSDOWNE at the time of her completion. Originally equipped with four stacks and two pilothouses, the ferry now carries but two stacks and one bridge and looks somewhat gaudy in the Canadian National Railway's new livery. Nevertheless, she is the last sidewheeler operating on the Great Lakes and holds a great charm known to anyone who has observed her or made a crossing in her.

But as in all other areas of marine transportation, progress is coming to the Detroit River. Already the Norfolk & Western Railway has cut its three steam carferries DETROIT, MANITOWOC and WINDSOR down to barges and operates them with the pusher tugs, ST. JOSEPH and S.P.REYNOLDS, and work is currently progressing on the cutting down of the Lake Michigan ferry CITY OF FLINT 32 to another river barge. Not only are the tugs able to separate from the barges and go about other duties, but a considerable saving is made in that the crew per unit is decreased from eleven to four. This fall, the Canadian National started to experiment with pushing their 1875-built iron propeller HURON with the McQueen tug AMHERSTBURG and the project seems likely to continue. At present, the only two river carferries operating under steam are LANSDOWNE and PERE MARQUETTE 10, the latter serving on the Chesapeake & Ohio crossing between Port Huron and Sarnia on the St. Clair River.

Now C. N. has called for tenders on the building of ferry docks at Point Edward and Port Huron and it seems that the new route will be operated by the ST. CLAIR (the former PERE MARQUETTE 12 cut down to a barge and pushed by a tug) as well as possibly the SCOTIA II, now lying idle at Windsor and possibly a candidate for the barge conversion. The railway has also let it be known that the Detroit-Windsor service will also be operated with barges by September 1970. Not only will HURON be made a full barge, but LANSDOWNE will shortly be treated similarly. An 87-year old steamer with 98-year old engines doesn't have much of a future. It is not yet known whether she will be stripped of her cabins and the upper portions of her machinery, but this seems likely in view of the restricted clearance on deck.

Suffice it to say that our old friend will no longer hold the same attraction for so many people when she is reduced to a flat scow shunted about by a diesel tug. The decision of the company is to be regretted but it is to be hoped that all friends of the LANSDOWNE will make it back for one last look before she is retired. She has now become a living legend in her time and will make her exit just when her popularity is reaching its zenith.

A Short History And Fleet List

of Manchester Liners, Limited

By: Fred Sankoff

Catering as it does especially for the Canadian trade and for the needs of Britain's greatest inland port, Manchester Liners Ltd. today are considered one of the nation's leading shipping firms. After some seventy-two years, studded with progress, they have come a long way from the early days of second-hand tonnage, back to the old MANCHESTER ENTERPRISE, of 1890 of some 3878 gross tons. This was the start of the Manchester Fleet, The ENTERPRISE was the ex QUEENSMORE bought from Elder Dempster & Co., Ltd., who purchased her from Johnston Line. She lasted just nine years in the fleet, foundering in the North Atlantic on passage from Manchester to Montreal on November 15th, 1899.

MANCHESTER CITY: Painted in her apple green Great Lakes colour the Manchester City was indeed a beautiful sight coming in off Lake Ontario at Port Weller. Photo by Fred SankoffWhile Manchester Liners have always had their name associated with the ship canal of the same name in the United Kingdom, in Canada Manchester Liners have been in the forefront in the St. Lawrence River Service from Montreal. In 1951 it was decided to enter the Great Lakes Service, and in 1952 when the MANCHESTER PIONEER was delivered, she became the first ship flying the Manchester house flag to enter the Port of Toronto. Then with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, came such ships as the old MANCHESTER REGIMENT and MANCHESTER SHIPPER, all since scrapped, to the most modern ships in the fleet like the new MANCHESTER PORT and PROGRESS.

The first of the new cellular container ships, the M. S. MANCHESTER CHALLENGE arrived in Montreal, Shed 70, on November 28th, 1968, to open a new service between Manchester and Montreal. This was the first full containerized service to Canada. When fully operational, four container vessels will offer to the shipper five-day frequency sailings, taking seven days for the crossing under normal weather conditions.

MANCHESTER MERCHANT: Only one of her type, made quite a few trips into the Lakes before being sold. Illustration shows the "Merchant" leaving Toronto. Photo by Fred SankoffThe wharf in Montreal is the Western end of the new trans-Atlantic expressway. It is Canada's first major terminal built especially to handle van containers, and at Manchester 3,000 miles away, there is a matching operation. On this loop from Montreal to Manchester, four ships each will carry 500 containers per trip. From this, one can well understand why Manchester have named ships in their fleet MANCHESTER PROGRESS. The name speaks for itself.


MANCHESTER PORT (III) 1935-1964. 7291 G.T. 4431 Net. 8990 DWT. Blt. 10-1935, by Blythswood S.B. Co. Ltd., Glasgow. 431'7" x 56'8" x 27'4-3/4". Scrapped Spanish shipbreakers. Arrived Bilbao 22-12-64.

MANCHESTER CITY (II) 1937-1964. 7278 G.T. 4372 Net, 9200 DWT. Blt. 8-1937 by Blythswood S.B.Co. Ltd., Glasgow. 446'6" x 57'0" x 27'4 1/2". Scrapped 5-11-64, at Faslane (Clydesids).

MANCHESTER PROGRESS. 1938-1966. 7346 G.T. 4462 Net. 9166 DWT. Blt. 9-1938 by Blythswood S.S.Co. Ltd., Glasgow. 430'7" x 57'0" x 27'0". Scrapped Yugoslavia. Arrived Split 1-17-66 under her own power.

MANCHESTER MERCHANT (III) 1940-1943. 7264 GT. 4408 Net. 9750 DWT. Blt. 5-1940 by Blythswood S. B. Co. Ltd., Glasgow. 432'0" x 57'0" x 27' 4 1/2". Torpedoed February 25, 1943, east of Cape Race.

MANCHESTER TRADER (III) 1941- . 7354 G.T. 4395 Net. 9193 DWT. Blt. 5-1941 by Blythswood S.B.Co.Ltd. Glasgow. 432'0" x 52'0" x 27' 5 1/2". Scrapped Yugoslavia January 1963.

MANCHESTER SHIPPER (II) 1943-1969. 7636 G.T. 4662 Net. 9400 DWT. Blt. 10-1943 by Blythswood S.B.Co.Ltd. Glasgow. 46l'5" x 58'1" x 28'3". Sold 1969 to Italian shipbreakers at Trieste. Left Manchester under steam July 1969 for her final voyage for scrapping.

MANCHESTER REGIMENT 1947-1967. 7638 G.T. 4652 Net. 9810 DWT. Blt. 2-1947, by Blythswood S.B.Co.Ltd. Glasgow. 46l'4" x 58'4" x 28'2". Sold 1967 to Astro Tropica Cia. Nav., Panama (B.P. Pandelis, Ltd.) and renamed AZURE COAST(II).

MANCHESTER MERCHANT (IV) 1951-1967. 7651 G.T. 4525 Net. 9750 DWT. Blt. 1-1951 by Blythswood S.B.Co. Ltd. Glasgow. 464'10" x 59'2" x 27'7". Sold 1967 to Clio Shipping Co., Liberia and renamed CLIO.

MANCHESTER PIONEER 1952-1963. 1805 G.T. 707 Net. 2735 DWT. Blt. 4-1952 by Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd., Birkenhead. 250'0" x 43'1" x 16'9". Lengthened 1960, 290'0" x 43'1" x 18'4-3/4". 2073 G.T. 944 Net. 3317 DWT. Sold 1963 to United Maritime Enterprises S.A., Piraeus. Renamed CYPRIAN MED. Resold January 1970 to Greek owners and renamed AGIOS ANTONIOS.

MANCHESTER EXPLORER 1952-1963. 1805 G.T. 707 Net. 2735 DWT. Blt 5-1952 by Cammel Laird & Co. Ltd., Birkenhead. 250'0" x 43'1" x 16'9". Sold 1963 to Crosbie & Co. Ltd., St. John's, Nfld. (a) C. A. CROSBIE 1963 (b) P. M. CROSBIE 1967. Resold 1969 to Panagos Shipping Co. Ltd., Famagusta, Cyprus; renamed PANAGOS. I.

MANCHESTER SPINNER (III) 1952-1968. 7815 G.T. 4580 Net. 10,265 DWT. Blt. 7-1952 by Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd., Birkenhead. 447'0" x 60'1" x 27'6 1/2". Sold 1968 to Estia Cia. Nav., Greece; renamed ESTIA. (12-9-68 Stravelakis Bros. Ltd.)

MANCHESTER PROSPECTOR 1953-1960. 1400 G.T. 665 Net. 2434 DWT. Blt 1948 as VIGOR by Langesund Mek Verk. 251'2" x 41'7" x 14'7". Sold 2-12-60 to Greek owners and renamed GEORGIOUS.

MANCHESTER MARINER (II) 1955-1968. 7850 G.T. 4571 Net. 9602 DWT. Blt 3-1955 by Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd. Birkenhead. 465'11" x 60'3" x 27'6 1/2". Sold 1968 to Mira Cia Nav. S.A., Greece; renamed IRA. (4-12-68 Stravelakis Bros Ltd)

MANCHESTER VANGUARD 1956-1961. 1662 G.T. 704 Net. 2670 DWT. Blt 4-1956 by A.G. Weser, Bremerhaven. 258'0" x 42'10" x 18' 5 1/2". Sold 1961 to General Steam Navigation Co. and renamed SHELDRAKE. Resold 1968 to Mediterranean Lines, Haifa, and renamed BAT GOLAN.

MANCHESTER VENTURE 1956-1961. 1662 G.T. 704 Net. 2670 DWT. Blt 5-1956 by A.G. Weser, Bremerhaven, 258'0" x 42'10" x 18'5 1/2". Sold 1961 to General Steam Navigation Co., and renamed PHILOMEL. Resold 1968 to Mediterranean Lines Ltd., Haifa and renamed BAT TIRAN.

MANCHESTER FAITH 1959- . 4462 G.T. 2456 Net. 6250 DWT. Blt 3-1959 by Austin & Pickersgill. 378'2" x 50'3" x 24'6". (a) CAIRNESK '66 while on charter to Cairn Line.

MANCHESTER FAME 1959- . 4462 G.T. 2459 Net. 6250 DWT. 378'2" x 50'3" x 24'6". Blt 10-1959 by Austin & Pickersgill. (a) CAIRNGLEN '66 while on charter to Cairn Line.

MANCHESTER MILLER 1959- . 9297 G.T. 5184 Net. 9200 DWT. B13-1959 by Harland & Wolff Ltd. 467'10" x 62'4" x 26' 6-3/4".

MANCHESTER COMMERCE: The first of the machinery aft type cargo vessels introduced by Manchester in 1963. The view shows the "Commerce" outbound from Toronto, headed for Chicago. Photo by Fred SankoffMANCHESTER COMMERCE (IV) 1963- . 8724 G.T. 4998 Net. 11,829 DWT. Blt 1963, by Smith's Dock Co. Ltd. Middlesbrough. 470' 0" x 62'0" x 28'0". Clarke-Sulzer. 9600 BHP.

MANCHESTER RENOWN 1964- . 8742 G.T. 5017 Net. 11,829 DWT. Blt 1964 by Smith's Dock Co. Ltd., Middlesbrough. 470'0" x 62'0" x 28'0". Clarke-Sulzer 9600 BHP.

MANCHESTER CITY (III) 1964- . 8734 G.T. 5014 Net. 11,829 DWT. Blt 1964 by Smith's Dock Co. Ltd., Middlesbrough. 470'0" x 62'0" x 28' 0". Clarke-Sulzer 9600 BHP.

MANCHESTER EXPORTER (II) 1965- . 7503 G.T. 4631 Net. 9200 DWT. Blt 9-1952 by W. Gray & Co. Ltd., for Cairn Line. 444'6" x 60' 1/2" x 27' 1/4". X CAIRNDHU. Handed over to Manchester Liners 4-1-65. Sold 24-12-69 to N & J Vlassopolous. Renamed GEMINI EXPORTER.

MANCHESTER PORT (IV) 1966- . 8900 G.T. 5149 Net. 12,060 DWT. Blt 1966 by Smith's Dock Co. Ltd., Middlesbrough. 470'1" x 62'0" x 28'0". Crossley-Pielstick diesels. 12,000 BHP. 17.5 knots.

MANCHESTER PROGRESS (II) 1967- . 8176 GT. 5093 Net. 12,060 DWT. Blt 1967 by Smith's Dock Co. Ltd., Middlesbrough. 470"1" x 62'0" x 28'0". Crossley-Pielstick 11,480 BHP. 17.5 knots.


MANCHESTER CHALLENGE 1968- . 11,899 GT. 7295 Net. 12,124 DWT. Blt. 10-1968 by Smith's Dock Co. Ltd., Middlesbrough, 498'6" x 63'6" x 27'1 1/4". Crossley-Pielstick diesels, 16,380 BHP; 20 knots.

MANCHESTER CONCORDE 1969- . 11,899 GT. 7295 Net. 12,124 DWT. Blt 5-1969 by Smith's Dock Co. Ltd., Middlesbrough. 498'6" x 63'6" x 27' 1 1/4". Crossley-Pielstick diesels; 16,380 BHP; 20 knots.

MANCHESTER COURAGE 1969- . 11,899 GT. 7295 Net. 12,125 DWT. Blt 1969 by Smith's Dock Co. Ltd. Middlesbrough. 498'6" x 63'6" x 27' 1 1/4". Crossley-Pielstick diesels. 16,389 BHP; 20 knots.


MANCHESTER TRADER 1960-1968. 7917 GT. 4500 Net. 10,120 DWT. Blt 4-1955 by Harland & Wolff Ltd., for Prince Line. 466' 9" x 6l'3" x 27' 6-3/4". (a) WESTERN PRINCE '63 (b) ZEALANDIC '60 (c) WESTERN PRINCE '67. On charter to Manchester Liners 1960-1963 as WESTERN PRINCE, then as MANCHESTER TRADER 1963-1968. Off charter 1968 and returned to Prince Line and renamed WESTERN PRINCE.

MANCHESTER ENGINEER 1965-1966. 7503 GT. 4631 Net. 9200 DWT. Blt 5-1952 by W. Gray & Co. for Cairn Line, Newcastle. 444' 6" x 60'2" x 27' 1/2". (a) CAIRNGOWAN '65 (Off charter December 1966).

MANCHESTER FREIGHTER 1965-1969. 8105 GT. 4608 Net. 10,700 DWT. Blt 11-1958 by Burnistland S. B. Co. Ltd., for Cairn Line. 459'6" x 59'11" x 27' 1/4". (a) CAIRNFORTH '65. Off charter 1969. Transferred to Royal Mail Lines and renamed LOMBARDY.

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Scanner, v. 2, n. 6 (March 1970)

Meetings; Marine News; Seaway Tolls; Exit The Lansdowne; A Short History And Fleet List