Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Marine Record (Cleveland, OH), June 13, 1895, p. 8

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8 THE MARINE RECORD. THE MARINERECORD ESTABLISHED 1878. PusiisHEp EVERY THURSDAY, AT 144 SUPERIOR S7., (LEADER BUILDING), CLEVELAND, O. IRVING B. SMITH, | CAPT. JOHN SWAINSON, BRANCH OFFICE: PROPRIETORS CHICAGO, Thr my 238 Lake Street. THOMAS WILLIAMS, Associate Editor. SUBSCRIPTION. One copy, one year, postage paid, One copy, one year, to foreign countries, . Invariably in advance. ADVERTISING. Rates given on application. Entered at Cleveland Post Office as Second-class Mail Matter. ae eee eS CLEVELAND, O., JUNE 13, 1895. ee A BRIGHT idea has occurred to a submarine diver and wrecker on the lakes. He suggests the practicability of raising sunken metal vessels by means of powerful mag- nets, Mahomet coffin fashion. re a HANDLING lumber is rather slow and careful work but the record at Washburn, Wis., a few days ago, shows 850,000 feet stowed on board ship in sixteen hours. We opine that this service can not be duplicated at any other port in the world. OD We note that Sir Charles Tupper is mentioned by some of our contemporary’s as still holding the office of the Dominion Minister of Marine and Fisheries. The Hon. John Costigan now holds that important position under the Dominion government. OS CHAIRMAN FRANK FLOWER, of the International Deep Waterways’ Association, has called ‘the executive board to meet in Chicago June 25. At this meeting the call will be issued and the plans perfected for the interna- tional deep waterways’ convention in Cleveland, in September, at which it is expected that more than 1,000 delegates will be present. re —eE THE Dominion steamboat inspection service seems just as lax in holding official inquiries relative to loss of life and property on steamers as the United States authorities are, as witness the Norman-Jack collision case. It may be, however, that one side is watching the other and waiting to take advantage of the first decision. Inquiry has been held and a decision rendered on the foundering of the Pacific coast steamer Collima, but comparativeiy nothing has yet been heard from the Hurd-Cayuga case coming under the jurisdiction of the officers at Grand Haven, or the Jack-Norman case pre- sumably in the Detroit district. The officials of the localities wherein these serious losses occurred should waken up to a sense of their duties in the case of casual- ties involving loss of life and property. —$—$—$—$—5— rr ee ea Mr. E.S. WHEELER, assistant engineer and general superintendent of the St. Mary’s Falls canal, has received se following instructions : “ Please permit all vessels of two thousand five hundred tons or more, carrying pas- sengers only, to pass through the Soo lock as soon as practicable after arriving at the canal. By direction of Secretary of War. W. P. Craighill, Chief of Engineers.” It would appear from the foregoing that the precedence to be given the two Northern Line boats in locking through the canal is not so mandatory as some of the daily papers seem to assume. It may be noticed that the order simply states ‘as soon as practicable after arriving at the canal,” therefore, a wide discretion is given to the officer in charge, and we presume he will see that no injustice is done to other tonnage in the matter of the passenger steamers taking precedence when cargo steamers are ready to be locked through. It would be well for general transportation interests to see how the foregoing instructions affect commerce before entering a protest against the apparent discrimination. Facts and figures are weightier than a general statement embodying probabilities only. A CANAL TO THE COAST. The International Deep Waterways Convention which is to be held in Cleveland next September, will again give force to the much mooted project of connecting the lakes with the coast by means of a ship canal adequate to meet the probable demands of transportation aud commerce a generation or two hence. The association is formed on a successful basis and the Officers are all men of repute besides holding important business relations in active conjunction with the entire commerce of the Northwest. Such being the status of the deep waterways convention and committees, it is self- evident that they will not adjourn from the Cleveland conyention without actual steps having been taken to bring about an international platform with Canada, if needs be, or itis within the bounds of probability to say that the American delegates may inaugurate a sentiment towards a purely American waterway, whereby American produce may be transported ata minimum cost, that is, without breaking bulk, not only to the seaboard, but across the Atlantic in a word, the 65,000,(00 population of the United States will not buckle down to the tenth part of their relative numbers in Canada on this question, although it cannot be gainsaid that the Canadians hold the balance of power in this. connection to-day. A deep waterway from the Great Lakes to the coast is an assured factor, now let us shape our ends so as to take due advantage of what we may know to be an eventual certainty. Hitherto, it seems that we have counted upon Cana- dian supremacy or perhaps facilities, and this is more distinctly prominent when we notice the bearing of the international platform of principles subscribed to by many of our own people. In the resolution of the con- vention held November 27, 1894, in Chicago, the delegates give the first place to a St. Lawrence route and barely mention their impression that something may also be made out of a waterway via the Hudson River. Fur- thermore, we are asked to consult Canadaas to the advis- ability of digging a deep water canal through Dominion territory at a joint expense, under laws of maritime neu- trality, ete., all of which sounds fairly well on paper, but is distinctly impracticable in the comity of nations where it is possible to engender a belligerent feeling between them. The United States should have a waterway of its own, uninecumbered by international comprisals or treatiss and to this end must the American delegates of the interna- tional association eventually work. Again, it is all very well to state that vessels may load at Chicago, Duluth or Superior and carry their cargoes to Liverpool, London, South America or Bombay without breaking bulk, but it cannot be done without inaugurat- ing the most radical chauges in the transportation of commerce that ever the world has witnessed, and when all this takes place Chicago may becomea general seaport, but not until then. The projectors af the deep waterway to the coast are not by any means chary in their favors, for they propose to make no less than fifty ports subject to ocean com- merce, ranging from Kingston, Lake Ontario, to Superior, Wis., and to thereby open up to the world the products of the west, but it is safe to say that such calculations are not only beyond the age and times, but are purely quixotic in their character, as anyone conversant with ocean carriage as opposed to lake transportation might easily realize. The members of the convention, in support of their somewhat ethereal project, advance the arguments that when the Erie canal closes for the winter, flour from the west jumps from forty to sixty cents per barrel and this feature closes down the western mills, also that the saving in freight to the west by having water transportation is more than $200,000,000 each season, while the deep water canal they say, will only cost $50,000,000. Well! should these figures be capable of demonstration in the light which they have been presented, we can but say that the canal ought to be built instanter, but in the meantime, we are prove to doubt the returns thus apparently manifest- ed and to say that one of the worst evils that can befall strictly lake industries would be the opening of such a waterway. On the other hand, we must candidly admit that for the best interests of western development and universal commerce at large, the earlier that we can reach 2,000 miles into this continent by water and via the chain of lakes it will give the quickest, greatest and most beneficial results to the producing sections of the illimitable west, and to this end will the canal eventually be projected, engineered and accomplished as a success- ful fairway of commerce. Now let the Americans con- trol it, the waterways we mean. 6 a 9 RIVER AND HARBOR IMPROVEMENTS. The tour around the lakes just completed by the Hon. Binger Hermann, of Oregon, has served at least to open his eyes relative to the importance of modern marine practices, commerce and shipbuilding at lake ports. For eight years Mr. Hermann has served on the river and harbor committee of the House at Washington. He is now the senior Republican member of the committee and his friends say he will probably be the next chair- man of that important body, therefore, the action taken all along the line by members of the Lake Carrier’s As- sociation in pointing out to the prospective chairman of the river and harbor committee in the House of Repre- sentatives of the Fifty-fougth Congress the volume of lake traffic is in every way commendable and will cer- tainly result in facilitating marine legislation pet to present and future requirements. In the course of his travels Mr. Hermann pis remarked that the lakes had a splendid marine com- merce, in fact to use his own expression, ‘one of the greatest in the world.” Although the congressman has made a study of coast, lake and river interests for the’ past several years, he was simply astonished at the ex- tent of the commerce transported over the lakes and the facilities for shipbuilding as well as its kindred indus- tries, engine, machine, boiler works, ete. A feature which occurred to Mr. Hermann during his tour, as of course it would to all who have traveled to any extent, or visited the principal shipping ports of the United States, not to mention those of other maritime countries, is the narrow, crowded and in many instances dilapidated condition of several prominent harbors on the lakes, he said, not only are the entrances usually too narrow for present commerce, but the depths are not what they should be and we ought to build with an eye to the future, not only for present demands. All property, dock frontage, etc., inside of the harbor lines, is, of course, under the jurisdiction of the muni¢ip- je ality, and before any city should ask congress for appro- priations to improve the approach of or to protect its entrance, some local inclination ought to be evinced to better the conditions of the port from a municipal stand- point, and in fact it would be a wise departure for any port to vie with the federal authorities in the general trend of improvements, as, if it could be shown that the city took more care of its commerce and navigational facilities than the general government were disposed to do at the entrance of the same and up to the harbor limits the most telling sort of an argument would thereby be advanced when an appropriation was recommended by the district officers in charge of the conservancy and im- provement of rivers and harbors. In speaking on this subject Mr. Hermann stated that “the appropriation now made annually by congress for water improvements are more than double what they were from the time the government was founded up to 1860. Up to that time they amounted to only: about $12,000,000. They are now $25,000,000 a year, and of that amount I would guess, about $8,000,000 come to the Great Lakes. Yet the goy- ernment should make generous appropriations for this purpose, for the Great Lakes have established and built up the commerce of the nation.” Granted that such are the facts, does it not seem a suicidal policy for our prin- cipal'ports to almost ignore their water frontage? Means are ordinarily found for beautifying and making per- manent improvements around a city, parks are laid out, large municipal buildings are erected and the general outlay required to keep the wheels of the municipal machinery running in good order is always found, why not then permit a fair proportion of the city’s ex- penditure to be placed where it would greatly facilitate the general commerce of the port, enhance the value of real estate and redound to the ultimate good of all her citizers by encouraging manufactures and the trans- portation of products by water to other points. rr a PRICE OF STEEL TO ADVANCE, The Bulletin of the American Iron and Steel Associa- tion, the organ of the iron and steel manufacturers of this country, says that an advance will soon be made in the price of steel rails. Notwithstanding the fact that in 1894 there was a great decline in the price of all other &

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