Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Marine Record (Cleveland, OH), June 27, 1895, p. 7

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THE MARINE RECORD. SS SSS ESE oceenersnmonensaeteeeen ce meso ee en EEE ee eS IR i ea ea a a TS SSE eT DSSS SATUS AUT ESTING SST OPIS SST SP THUS NOT RSTNTSNO, ar SS CHICAGO’S HARBOR NEEDS. Lieut. George P. Blow, U. S. N., in charge of the hydrographic office at Chicago, has given the subject of the improvement of the harbor of Chicago much care- ful study. Speaking of the future of the Chicago har- bor in arecent interview with a 77zune man, the lieu- tenant pointed out the government breakwater, 4,000 feet northeast of the light at the mouth of the Chicago River and extending northwest and southeast. Lower down, 3,400 feet east of the line of the Illinois Central railroad, is the inner breakwater, extending north and south. Outside of this breakwater the soundings show 20 to 30 feet of water, and inside 15 feet or less. A note upon the chart shows that this channel was dredged to 16 feet, but has gradually filled ey until but 14 and 15 feet are to be relied upon. “Now,’’ says Lieut. Blow,’’ you have this situation: You need a deep water harbor, and at the same time are proposing to fillup a third of this so-called outer har- bor, which is not an outer harbor at all, for a new lake- - front park, using the material from the drainage canal for the purpose, and building along the present dock line a retaining wall from the rock of that canal. Now, why adopt a half-way measure, which will partly ac- complish-the purposes in view, and give the city no bet- ter harbor than before?”’ “But where can you make a harbor?’’ was asked. “Right here in front of the city;’? and the lieutenant placed his dividers on the deep water east of the bulk- head. ‘‘Fill up the space called harbor to the bulk- head, except sttch portions as are retained for } mere ornamental water, and construct, out of the } same material it was designed to use for the re- maining wall, another bulkhead continuing in a j southerly direction from the outer breakwater | You will then have a harbor 20 to 30 feet deep and } thoroughly protected.’’ “But will the government consent to this?”’ ; “OF course can not say as to that. I donot] know what the engineers would advise. I only} suggest that it is not improbable that the govern- | ment, bearing in mind the exchange ofa 14-foot harbor for a 20 to 30-foot harbor of twice its capa- ¥ city, and the saving of the expense of dredging, | would be likely to look favorably upon such a} plan. The deep water docks should be the mouth of the river. At the mouth of the river is a basin | which has been gradually filled up by the same | currents, which, if left to do their work, would | fill up this so-called outer harbor. Some of the property I believe is in dispute, soI will not dis cuss that phase of the question. It would be well if it could be controlled entirely by the city, which could then construct there, in a stretch of half a mile, all the deep water dockage that the city would require for half a century, and derive a revenue therefrom to pay for maintenance.” Lieut. Blow was careful to say that this was an entirely unofficial expression of opinion, and that the army engineers in charge of such waters were fully competent to plan such work and make recom- mendations. eee —o ao re ICE SAWS FOR OPENING NAVIGATION, Consul Morris, of Ghent, writes under date of April 22, 1895: ‘“The invention of an ice-sawing apparatus, by which fresh-water bodies may in winter be kept open for navigation, is of considerable importance. During the past season, such a machine has been satisfactorily tested on the river Scheldt, near Antwerp. Mr. Camere, the inventor, had already foretold its practicability at the congress of navigation held at the Hague last sum- mer. The recent Siberian winter which has visited this portion of the world, gave him ample opportunity for atrial of his’ machine. It consists of a strongly built boat, with rounded sides, carrying a small port- able steam engine. At the bow, a movable framework, which may be raised or lowered at will, carries the axes of two circular saws; these latter are operated by power from the portable engine. The boat itself is moved by means of a rope run over a windlass, the loose end of the rope being attached to an anchor fixed in the ice at a distance in front of the boat and in the direction to be taken. The windlass upon the boat is operated by hand power, and the speed attained depends upon the rapidity with which it is worked. The frame- work containing the saws is placed at a suitable height, according to the thickness of the ice,and the saws are setin motion. Being separated from each other ata distance of about five yards, they cut out a kind of band of ice, which the boat breaks into fragments by its for- ward movement. By reason of its form, it forces these fragments to scatter before it—that is to say, to disap- pear on the right and on the left under the ice remain- ing in place. The channel thus traced remains free. Through ice two inches thick this machine forced a passage of 20 feet in length per minute, approximating two miles in a day of nine hours. In eight-inch ice the advance was only about one-third of a mile per day. The trials this winter were considered satisfactory, but, as is evident, the machine is susceptible of improve- ment, such as propulsion by steam power and the addi- tion of other apparatus forward for the crushing and removal of the ice in its path.”’ 5 gid = IRON AND CQAL PRODUCTION. The annual government report on the mineral re sources of the United States for the calendar year 1894 has just been completed andis based on reports of many experts and special agents. The total product shows a great decline from the output of 1893 due, the report says, mainly to the financial conditions, but also to special features which affected the net result. The most notable of these was the strike of the bituminous coal miners, accounting largely forthe greatly decreased production and increase in price for part of the year. The strike naturally increased the use of anthracite, which partly made up for the decreased demand for this substance, due to depression of manufactures. ‘The reports state that the declining tendency in ore and steel for 1893 continued for 1894. Pig iron produc- tion decreased from 7,124,502 long tons to 6,657,388, and the valuation decreased nearly $20,000,000. Iron ores increased 292,050long tons in production and $4,687,938 in value. The official result ofthe investigation of the pig iron production of the country for the year shows that 6,657,388 long tons were produced, having a valua- tion of $65,007,247. Relative to coal the following figures are given as the production ; Bituminous coal, 118,820,- 405 short tons, valued at $107,653,501 ; Pennsylvania an- thracite, 46,358,144 long tons, valued at $78,488,063; ; rr 1 THE TREND OF PUBLIC OPINION. THE STHAMBOAT INSPECTION SERVICE. I read with great interest the article in the marine column of the Detroit “vec Press on the uselessness of of- ficial investigatigation into the cause of collisions under the present system of investigating. I would suggest that Congress pass a law creating an examining board of investigators to be composed of men of high qualifi- cations, who shall have the power to compel the attend- ance at a certain point, preferably as close to the scene of the collision or explosion as possible, to give their testimony in person to the board. In no other way can the matter receive the thorough ventilation necessary for an intelligent and just decision as to where the blame lies. Ido not think the local inspectors are fully com- petent to look into such matters, aside from their limited powers to secure witnesses. There are some intelligent, well educated men among them, but as a class they are lacking for the higher class of work. A DkErRoIT VESSEL, OwNER, A vesseliman who thoroughly knows the ins and outs of the steamboat inspection service expressed the opinion this week at Detroit, thatit is sadly in need of reform. When acollision occurs by which one or two vessels are sunk, the law requires that each master shall formally report the circumstances of the case to the in- spectors of the local district in which it occurred, they being given reasonable time to do this, but not tied down to any number of days. The wording of the law gives them a chance to see their owners or lawyers be- fore making the report, so that nothing damaging to their cause be admitted that can be used against them. when the case comes to trial. The vesselman in ques- tion does not complain against this section of the law, for he says it would be a manifest injustice to the master to be compelled to testify within a certain number of days, where the boat is always liable to delay, if still afloat, through stress of weather, or the master pre- vented from getting to his destination through lack of money or other facilities. His great complaint is against the lack of power of the law to reach the captains and crews of the interested boats when it is necessary that they be gotten togéther for the purpose of investigation. The Cayuga-Hurd col- lision occurred in the Grand Haven district. The law is so worded that the local inspectors of the Grand Haven district cannot subpoena the crews of the two boats out- side of that district. MNeither does it allow them to take cognizance of the disaster on newspaper reports. ‘They must wait until the formal report is made by the mas- ters or those in command, whichis a long time, compar- atively, after the accident, and by which time the crews of both boats were scattered tothe four winds of heaven in the necessity to work for their bread. ‘The investiga- tion must necessarily be a farce. The inspectors will make out a list of questions based upon the information they have received of the accident, and thisinformation is largely composed of surmises. These questions will be written out and sent to the local districts entered by these crews, and subpoenas will there be served upon them to appear to answer. As they are scattered, it will prove a long, tedious and costly process to reach them, and once they are reached they will be required toan- swer only those written questions and none others, for the outside inspectors rarely take enough interest in the cases, which they regard as the work of others, to ask other questions that might elicit answers of value. And so the questions are answered and sent back, and the local inspectors concerned make their decisions, and nine times out of ten, where the circumstances are as described, these decisions are not worth the paper they are written upon. What is wanted to make the investi- gation thorough every time is authority to subpoena a man in any part of the United States, and compel his attendance when wanted, no matter what his work or duty may be at the time. In that way, and no other, can the steamboat inspection service be made effective, made a power that will sift to the bottom all infractions of law that result in loss of life and property, and cor- rect the many abuses that now exist. e_—o—-r - VESSEL TRANSFERS. The steamer Macatawa has been sold by Kd. . Napier of Grand Haven to K. N. Hatch of St. Joseph. The schooner Jennie Mullen was transferred by Helen Saunders of Chicago to F. D. Smith of Charle- voix for $1,045. G. C. Gerkin of Charlevoix has recorded the purchase of the tug Maggie Sanborn from the Cleveland tug Company for $2,500. Steamer Harvey Watson has been sold by R. C. Brit- ton, of Saugatuck, to John C, Post, et al., of Holland, for $2,000. Other Grand Haven transfers are schooner Rough and Ready to David A. Trumpour; schooner Cora to Sam Hull, schooner Norma to Wm. Williamson; half interest in tug Maggie Lutz to Albert Fairchild, and and schooner Guiding Star to S. S. Evans. At Chicago the tug Waubun has been sold by the estate of Jacob Johnson to Knapp & Dixon of Racine and will go to Gladstone, Mich., to tow dredges and SCOWS.

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