The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
British Whig (Kingston, ON), 25 Jun 1891

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p.1 General Paragrapsh - The str. Armenia passed up yesterday with salt for Deseronto.

The government canal survey tug Shanly arrived here today from Ottawa.

The schr. S. Neelon from Toledo with timber is expected at Collins' Bay tonight or tomorrow.

Clearances: str. Freemason and two barges, Oswego, light; prop. Monteagle, Oswego, light; prop. Alma Munro, Chicago, light.

The prop. Myles, Wilhelm and Denver from Chicago with wheat and the Niagara from Manistee with lumber are expected in tonight.

The schr. Acacia with coal from Fairhaven for the penitentiary, and the steamer Denver, from Chicago, with 45,999 bushels wheat, have reached Portsmouth.

Arrivals: schr. Grantham, Charlotte, light; schr. Oliver Mowat, Sandusky, coal; schr. Flora Emma, Sodus Point, coal; prop. Monteagle, Chicago, 50,000 bush. corn; sloop Laura D., Cape Vincent, light.



A successful test of a diver's telephone was made at Collinsby yesterday. Three different persons held conversations from the bottom of the bay with those on the dock above. The first to go down was "Billy" Bissonette, who had never used a telephone. On reaching the bottom he sung out in his French accent, "How you hear me." From that moment a volley of French and English poured forth from both ends of the line as must have astonished old Neptune had he been in the neighborhood. "Mat" Murphy then put on the suit, and, in his own mother tongue, spoke to his friends above. Mr. Leslie, manager of the rafting company, became interested, put on a rubber suit, and for the first time in his life, "walked the bottom like a man," although the sensation must have been very peculiar to a new beginner. Mr. Leslie held a long conservation with parties on the wharf, and came up well pleased with his experiment at diving.

A.S. Smith, manager Bell telephone company, who arranged the apparatus, was spoken to. Mr. Smith said, "When I came to Kingston, five years ago, I noticed a diver at work in the harbor, and the thought occurred to me that more than half of that diver's time was taken up in moving up and down the ladder for tools, etc., and that if he could make his wants known a great saving would be effected. I mentioned the matter to Mr. Leslie and Capt. Donnelly and they were both of the opinion that if a telephone could be arranged in the helmut it would be a grand thing. There were several difficulties in the way; the headpiece is not large, the diver is unable to get near his ear with his hands while under water, the dress is not stationary, the headpiece moving with the action of the air supply, position, etc. Then the noise of the waste valve was another difficulty, and the size of the interior of the helmut would not permit the ordinary telephone to be used, but all these difficulties, I am glad to say, have been overcome, and after the test of yesterday telephoning from the bottom of a lake to the surface is an assured fact. The instruments are very simple; all connections are securely enclosed and the outfit is so arranged that no inconvenience is experienced by the diver. No matter what position he gets into there is nothing to get out of order, and one of the best things about it is that it can be worked by anyone and anywhere. After hearing the conversation between a diver, who had never used a telephone, and his mate on deck, who could only speak broken English, I am satisfied the instrument will do all that was expected."

Cape Vincent, June 23rd - The steambarge Alberta is in the coal trade from Oswego to this place.... The ferry boats can no longer go through the Wolfe Island canal in going to Kingston.

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25 Jun 1891
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 44.22976 Longitude: -76.48098
Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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British Whig (Kingston, ON), 25 Jun 1891