The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 1 May 1862

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Another Launch

On Saturday afternoon Messrs. Ault & Co., the well known ship-builders, launched from their yard at Portsmouth, near this city, the steamboat which, since the close of navigation last year, they have been building for O.S. Gildersleeve, Esq., to take the place of the New Era in the Royal Mail Through Line between Montreal and Hamilton.

This beautifully-modelled, staunch and superior vessel as she touched her destined element received the name of the Empress.

Three winters since, the New Era was partially re-built, with a view to the present almost entire reconstruction; and in fact, if new keel, frames, bottom timbers, stem, stern, top sides up even to the promenade deck, as well as deck beams, engine frames, etc., can make a boat carrying the saloons, cabins, officers and engines of her ancestor a new craft, she is one. We had an opportunity of viewing her while on the stocks, and, therefore, speak from personal observation.

She is of peculiar form, being different from any of the lake or river steamers heretofore on these waters, and is, in our opinion, a great improvement. Her bottom is triple oak timbered, the space between each timber being only about eight inches, and the outside planking is of an extra thickness of the toughest oak, the object being to prevent any serious injury should she, by chance, touch the rocks when descending the Rapids at low water. In this particular she will be infinitely superior to any of the iron boats, as she could now glide or bump over places which would instantly knock a hole through them, as experience has proved.

From her greatest breadth at the water line, which is 28 feet, she flares out with hollow lines to nearly the outer edge of her guards, thus giving her a wonderful increase of buoyancy, and which will cause her to ride the heaviest seas with the greatest possible ease. More-over, these eyesores to a nautical vision, the ugly and dangerous projecting wings or guards are avoided, while all their usefulness is retained; and with the exception of the wheel beams, none of those awkward looking braces and knees are visible, there being a clean side from stem to stern.

Her builder pronounces her the strongest and best sea-going passenger boat on Canadian waters, and is justly proud of his work. We wish her that luck and success which almost invariably attended her predecessor.

- Seamen's Wages - $20 per month, with downward tendency. [Detroit Free Press]

-From the Flats - 12'4" of water at Flats; Capt. Jerry Sanders to display range lights. [Detroit Tribune]

-Vessel Capsized - The barque William Penn, we are informed, was capsized in the storm last night between Port Dalhousie and Hamilton. We have not heard of any lives being lost. [St. Catherines Journal]

-Toronto, April 29 - steamboat owners are demanding 40¢ for flour to Montreal.

-Launch at Sarnia - sch. Tecumseh launched from yard of Messrs. Every & Rumball; keel - 110', beam 36'; will probably register 800 tons. [Huron Signal]

-Imports - 30; Exports - 30.

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1 May 1862
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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pd [more details]
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily British Whig (Kingston, ON), 1 May 1862