Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Marine Record (Cleveland, OH), May 30, 1895, p. 6

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PROTECTION FOR OCEAN NAVIGATION. BALTIMORE, Mp., May 28, 1895. Yo the Editor of The Marine Record: Whenever in party platforms I see indorsements of the sound principle of ‘‘ Protection,’ or read in papers and magazines articles or speeches headed ‘ Protection to American Industries,’’ and call to mind the fact that a great and noble ‘‘industry’’ essential to our economic independence and once a “‘ pillar of our prosperity,’’ has virtually perished and become almost forgotten, I won- der whether the ‘‘ Doctrine of Protection’’ has really any positive statesmen behind it, or is anything more than a speculative party belief. Our carrying in the foreign trade is the oldest «unprotected industry in the United States.. It is now 67 years since our government, through free-trade acts and treaties, abandoned the ship of the United States in this trade to the certain failure which always attends unequal competition and poorly paid business. No other industry was turned out to sur- vive or perish. ; we When I reflect that this proscription, this desertion of our own interest, this relinquishment of rightful inher- itance to foreign nations, has crippled our commercial enterprise, hindered our financial growth and paralyzed our shipping power, and weigh the fact that the “ Ship- ping Question,’’ so-called, is never ‘acknowledged as ‘‘ before the country ’’ in the political headquarters, in the party press, or in public thought, I ask myself: Can it be possible that ‘’ Protection”’ is the broad and vital principle so earnestly proclaimed? or is it the case that navigation, although an industry, is not of use and value to the nation, but a vicious occupation to be frowned on by public sentiment? The cross-purposes of such a policy are manifest. Its unwisdom and inexpedience have presumptive proof in the fact that our shipping in domestic trade, much of it belonging to interior ports, is fully protected, foreign vessels being prohibited from competition with Ameri- can, As a consequence this traffic is in the hands of citizens, and we have the best coasting, lake and river service in the world. On the other hand, our unpro- tected ocean marine having suffered virtual annihila- tion, it has resulted that our foreign trade has passed into alien hands and is lost, incalculably to our damage and insecurity; and the party of protection, to the con- ’ cern and disapproval of every thoughtful citizen, seems content, since nothing is done about it. It is true that “shipping planks’? have worked their way into national platforms. Congress has had bills reported from com- mittees, and once in a while given a day to a shipping debate; but, since the war and its waste of.tonnage, 30 _ years, with 12 of full protective power, have come and gone and seen not a single act passed looking to the substitution of a protective for a free-trade policy and the certain resumption of our foreign trade and trans- _ portation into our own hands. We have only to compare our past with our present proportionate carriage of commerce to realize into what a dangerous dependency we have fallen on foreign na- tions, their capital and labor, their good will and confi- dence, especially since the war. Without the services of alien shipbuilders, shipowners, merchants, bankers, underwriters and mariners we could carry on, of our own commerce, about one-tenth only at the present time. Not only is this true of our foreign trade, but the great wealth acquired in its pursuit has been gained from us. he very large amount of tonnage employed has been built mostly from earnings which our own people should have received. .We pay for ships, but do not own them, We furnish the cream of EKuropean traffic, but scarcely secure the buttermilk of the business for our share. We . find the stone, the sand and cement; but, for the want of statesmen in congress, the fortress is built for a for- eign antagonist, our rival and enemy. If the national interest, for 30 years past, had been neglected on the land as on the sea the Union would not now be worth another four-years’ war for its preservation. For six years after the revolution, under the free-trade conditions then existing, our navigation made no prog- ress, although it fared better than manufactures. From the institution of the government and until 1815, favored as a ‘‘Child of Protection,’’ it advanced and developed wonderfully. It encouraged production, aided commerce and greatly increased our country’s wealth. It balanced our foreign trade and made it safe to buy—as well as profitable to sell—abroad. It spread prosperity among the people, consolidated the states of the republic, created maritime power, exalted our rank among the nations and secured our national existence from the danger of dis- content. In the period from 1815 to 1828 a change of THE MARINE RECORD. policy took place, the great progenitor fell from grace, the loyal descendant was alienated, and veritable stran- gers—tramps from the roadside—given his place at the table. The twentieth congress, which last withdrew pro- tection from the ship in ocean trade, enacted the highest tariff ever laid. It did not foresee the bad effects of increasing foreign participation in our commerce and diminishing our own. It did not suppose that the freights taken from our own and given to foreign vessels would, in the end, work our discomfiture and disgrace, not alone upon the sea but on the land as well. It was unaware that an American marine, of itsélf, was, practically, a better protector of the common interest than the additional duties which it enacted, and that, unfortunately, increased the cost of vessels. In fact, we have only a-few statesmen now, after many evil consequences of a free policy have been suffered, that can grasp fully the expedience, importance and necessity of entrusting to our own people, mainly, the prosecution of our trade and transportation beyond the sea. Were it not otherwise, patriots would not now be begging for a protective policy in the national in- terest. ‘ of : The shipping question needs only to have justice done it in examination and discussion, so the nation can fully apprehend its merits and meaning, its relations and con- nections, to cause congress to do its duty, and the re- sponsibility for this performance rests, undoubtedly, upon the shoulders of protectionists, since they have the care of the nation. WILLIAM W. BATES. DD ee TRANSPORTATION RATES. THE MARINE RECORD has frequently pointed out the enormous reduction made even during the past decade in transportation charges on the lakes, and our readers are as a rule well versed in the season’s freight rate changes, but simply as a condensed report and comparison we give the rates for the past eight years as compiled by government officials at Sault St. Marie under the direction of General O. M. Poe, Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army, in charge of the North-west division of river and harbor improvements, from which it may be seen how great the reduction in freights have been : ee ————— and in fresh water, steel, six hundred years ; iron, seven hundred years. Iron piles corrode most near low water mark ; marine growths act as a protection. + oo + or AN AUTOMATIC BRIDGE. In France there isa little bridge which we are told, is so operated by the rise and fall of water in the adjacent lock of the Eastern canal, as to be always open to per- mit passage of boats when it is possible for them to be in transit across its site, and yet is always closed so as. to span the canal when a boat is in the lock. The bridge is a counterweighted bascule girder with one leaf, nearly 10 feet wide, which spans the 19 foot canal, or is opened to a perpendicular position for the passage of boats. The girders are pivoted on a horizontal axis, and the counterweighted short arms, which are about 6% feet long, revolve in a masonry chamber whose bot- . tom is above high water in the low level of the canal and communicates by an open pipe with the lock, filling and emptying simultaneously with the upper portion of the latter. A cylindrical horizontal float, pivoted to the ends of the short arms of the balanced girder, rises and falls with the level in the lock, and has sufficient weight and buoyancy to overcome the weight and friction of the bridge, raising it when the lock is empty and lower- ing it when it is full. Hand turning gear is provided to manipulate the bridge when the lock is open, if .nec- essary. rrr + er NIAGARA RIVER CHANNEL. There has been considerable discussion going on this season regarding the depth of water in Niagara River from Buffalo to Tonawanda. The chanvel has been improved, marked and buoyed and as a satisfaction to those using the fairway, Major. Ruffner, United States engineer, at Buffalo, has made a careful inspection of the river from which he makes the following report: There is at present 16 feet of water over Horseshoe COMMODITY. 1887. 1888. 1889. 1890. 1891. 1892. 1893. 1894, Coal Met HONS ihe svaetiines oceers cigudeoeeeese $ .90 ¢ .70 $ .47 $.45 | $ .43 $ .41 $ .40 $ .40 J Dbortber gtololevenn sees arrincom toner re MAaas 629 7% 18 ke) 15 16% 17 14 Wheat, Dt ....secseeeecerrereeesscssnserserenerseee: .07 03% 04 "03 04 6-10 03 6-10] .028-10] .02% GAIN DU recnccasenseseecnneyes POS R ANOS .07 .04% 044% 02 03% 0334 0234 02% Corde Ba eRe GEREN alata .04%4| 03%}. .03 03% 033, 0234 02 9-10 Manufactured {FON} MELONS wartierssee| 2235 1.80 2.10 1:34 2:50 QS 2.00 .90 Pig iron, net tons.........0.0 . cpa agence rah 2.35 1.30 1.45 1.35 5h Wye 1.23 1.30 pb Bo) Silt DIS ees sacsay saccin quate chtutnememe nce mua 18 .16 .18 ses) 18 15 Fa mp Coppers Het-tons sevens se ke eteec rete 2.60- 2.35 2.25 2.38 2.00 1.40 7D 1.95 Iron ore, net tons.......... Prenat AAEE 1.75 1.28 1.14 1.10 98 1.00 80 .70 Lares, INES ft By Mn pity nodes feo severd oon se: 4.00 2.80 2.70 2.38 2.70 2.95 2.35 1.90 ° Silver Orewnet- TONS.) sickly. sessseee tue cakee 3.00 1.90 1.90 2.25 2.25 220 2.25 pas Buildisg SOME; Net tONSisic..cciecscccecses dais 2.05 2.02 2.00 2.00 1.67 1.36 1.28 Unclassified freight, net tons............. 4.00 3.00 3.00 Q75 3.58 3.60 3.00 2.75 The foregoing figures are of course no revelation to vessel interests, but classed in this manner. from year to year they more clearly bring to view the close grad- ing and general reduction on all commodities trans- ported by water. DP COAL HANDLING BY MACHINE. Mr. Neuerburg, of Cologne, has invented a new swing- ing conveyor for transferring coal and similar commod- ities. The apparatus consists of a trough, suspended at each end by two pairs of links, so as, to swing freely in a longitudinal direction; and flap valves are set at equal intervals inside the trough, also swinging freely on hor- izontal axis, but. so arranged, as to make an obtuse angle with the bottom and yet be capable of rising there- from. The trough receives a horizontal travel by any suitable mechanical movement, .\but in such a manner that the forward is much quicker than the backward stroke, the consequence being, it is stated, that when pieces of coal or other substances are allowed to fall in at one end, the swinging movement of the trough, grad- ually passes them on to the other end, where they fall out. NE eee __ CORROSION OF IRON AND STEEL. When steel is exposed to the action of sea water and the weather, it is said to corrode at the rate of an inch in eighty-two years ; an inch of iron under the same conditions corrodes in one hundred and ninety years. When exposed to fresh water and the weather, the periods are one hundred and seventy years for steel and six hundred and thirty years for iron. Completely im- mersed in sea water, the rates are: Steel, one hundred and thirty years; iron, three hundred and ten years; Reef at the mouth of the Niagara River at mean lake level. A dredge is engaged in cleaning up the low ridges left from dredging the past three years. After passing the reef, the ranges should be followed as far as the red can buoy only, and-then vessels should head to the west of the inlet pier, passing it between three and five hundred feet to the westward. Any closer ap- proach might result in striking a shoal. with 15 feet six inches of water over. it, about 100 yards over. When opposite the ferry landing on the Canadian shore ves-. sels should head for the upper buoy of the International bridge buoys. Going down the Strawberry Island chan- nel secures good water 50 feet from the three black spar buoys. If these directions are closely followed the dan- ger of grounding will be greatly obviated. DOMINION AIDS TO NAVIGATION. The total number of light-stations, light-ships and fog” alarm stations in the Dominion of Canada on the 30th of June, 1894, was 624, and of lights shown 755; the number of steam whistles and fog horns, 61; the num- ber of light keepers and engineers of fog alarms with masters of light-ships was 630. ‘The annual cost of this service amounted to $476,225.85. -_-O oe CANADIAN LIFE-SAVING STATIONS. The following life-saving stations on the Dominion side of the lakes are in operation during the season: Collingwood, Goderich, Pelee Island, Port Stanley, Port Rowan, Toronto, Port Hope, Cobourg, Wellington, Pop- lar Point. All of these stations are connected with tel- egraph or telephone lines to the nearest point of assistance. xe

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