The Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Stanton, Samuel Ward, Attributed name
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Sketch and notes on the steamboat WESTERN WORLD
Illustration from Stanton, Samuel Ward, American Steam Vessels , 1895, page 139


Built 1854, at Buffalo, N.Y.

HULL, of wood, constructed by John Englis, at Green-Point, (Long Island), N. Y., and put together in shipyard of Bidwell & Banta, Buffalo. Extreme length 348 feet, breadth of beam 45 feet, over guards 72 1/2 feet; depth of hold 15 feet

ENGINE, vertical beam, built by Secor & Co. (Allaire Works), New York. Diameter of cylinder 81 inches, length of piston stroke 12 feet. Horse power 1500

BOILERS, three of iron, tubular

WHEELS, each 38 feet in diameter, Length of buckets 11 feet; breadth of buckets 22 inches

Joiner Work, by L. & H. Crampton

Tonnage 2002.42

Two of the very finest sidewheel steamboats ever constructed for use on the Great Lakes were the WESTERN WORLD and PLYMOUTH ROCK. These vessels were duplicates and were built to run between Buffalo and Detroit, in connection with the New York Central and the Michigan Central Railroads. The WESTERN WORLD and her mate were constructed under the supervision of Isaac Newton, each costing $250,000. The WESTERN WORLD was launched on Tuesday, April 11, 1854, and arrived at Detroit on her first trip on July 7 of that year.

No expense was spared to make these boats as perfect as possible, and when finished they combined the strength of a sea-going steamer with the comfort and elegance of a river boat. The hull timbers were diagonally braced with iron; the floors were solid and there were four water-tight compartments. The decoration of the saloons was rich and elegant, the joinery varying from light Gothic to the Ionic and Doric order of architecture. There were handsome stained-glass domes and playing fountains, gorgeous satin and lace drapery and splendid mirrors, with furniture of rosewood. The dining room seated 200 persons; the silver service was made to order and cost $15,000 for each boat.

During the winter following their advent both boats had the position of the boilers altered, they being placed further forward, which served to increase their speed. On May 27, 1855, the WESTERN WORLD arrived at Buffalo in 14 hours running time from Detroit; her sister ship, PLYMOUTH ROCK was even still faster.

These boats ran for a few years only, and were laid up at Detroit, where they remained idle a number of seasons. On June 29, 1863 the WESTERN WORLD was towed to Buffalo and there dismantled. Her engines was taken to New York and placed in the new steamer FIRE QUEEN.

Smith & Stanton
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New York
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  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 42.454166 Longitude: -81.121388
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Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Sketch and notes on the steamboat WESTERN WORLD