Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Marine Record (Cleveland, OH), July 11, 1895, p. 10

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EES Sahih die hike leche nO STEAM TOWING MACHINES. The automatic steam towing machines manufactured by the American Ship Windlass Co., Providence, R. I., are being so well appreciated by all who see and use them that there will in a short time be {several more in use on the Lakes and four on the Atlantic coast, practic- ally illustrating the satisfaction and safety that they afford. Besides thisit is now proposed to try them more extensively for the towing of barges and if successful in this line, as no doubt they will be, it may mean a revo- lution in the business of towiug consorts. The towing machine that the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company put on the steamer Lebanon isome time ago has so satisfied and pleased them that Mr. Taylor, the shipping and freight agent of the Reading colliers, has recommended the management to place it on another of their towboats, the International. The management of this transportation concern has also issued proposals to certain shipbuilders for a new tug, 170 feet long, in the specifications for which this towing machine is called for among the equipments. Mr. R.C. Viet, Superintendent of floating property of the Stand- ard Oil Company, has likewise ordered one of these machines for barge No. 58; and the Globe Iron Works, of Cleveland, who are building a 300 foot steel towing schooner for the American Transportation Company of Fairport O., will also equip her with one of these towing machines. : It is the opinion of those who are familiar with the operations of this machine—the Shaw & Speigel Auto- matic Steam Towing Machine—and who have tested Hh that it will pay for itself in from onetotwo years. The principle of the machine is well known to our readers, the steam at a specified presure, set according to the weight of the tow and probable strain, affording a cush- ion for the towing bitts so that when the strain tempor- arily exceeds a certain amount the lime is paid out, and when the tow sheers toward the tug the lineis as rapidly wound in, thus preserving a permanent and certain strain upon the towing vessel and therefore absolutely easing her machinery from jerks while rendering the tow line equally free from sudden snapping and jumping. In- surance men who. have witnessed its efficient operation are free to admit it will probably be advantageous for all consorts, tugs and steamers to be equipped with this machine. —- rr oe aa LABOR CONVENTION. President Daniel EK. Keefe, of Chicago, presided at the opening of the Fourth annual convention of the National Longshoremen’s Association of the United States, held in Milwaukee on Tuesday. After the ap- pointment of the various committees of the section the ‘address of welcome was read by Frank J. Weber, of the state Federation of Labor. Mr. Weber was particularly severe on the stevdores and the Vessel Owners’ Asso- Ciation, as well as the ‘‘grog shop owners.” A tele- gram from the San Diego (Cal.) Association of Long- shoremen wishing the national body success was read. President Keefe, in his annual address, cautioned or- ganized labor against hasty legislation or steps that would force local associations into unnecessary trouble. He strongly advised the adoption by the association of all bodies of vessel workers whose aims were the same. Sixty-five delegates were present at the opening of the session and about 40 more were expected, making 110 delegates in all. ' © “RAMIE” NOT A NEW SUBSTANCE. The newspapers of the past week have made the an- ‘nouncement that some of the sails of the yacht Defender “are to be made of a néw substance, ramie. But, never- _ theless, ramie isnot the ‘‘ néw substance ” which is here represented ; on the contrary, it is one of the very oldest known fibres in the world, traces of it having been found in the wrapping cloths of the Kgyptian mummies. -Ithas been known to the Chinese for more thana thousand years, and for this length of time they have been spinning and weaving it with rude appliances which are to-day no improvement over those of the earliest times. amie is the fibre of one or two species _of the nettle family; it is two or three times as strong as flax, and has a lustre which resembles that of silk. Perhaps one reason why it has not been successfully worked by our modern methods may be that the efforts of our experimenters have been largely to get from it a fibre with which to adulterate silk. : THE MARINE RECORD. Ramie has, however, excellent qualities of its own. It is strong, not affected by moisture, does not shrink or swell if wet, anddoes not mildew or rot. These qualities have made it evident that with a little advance in the ability to handle it, it would be available for the sails of vessels, in which all these things, shrinkage, mildew and decay are all very essential matters. The chief objection to the use of ramie is the difficulty in separating the fibres from each other. They are united in the leaf in which they grow by a tenacious gum, and any chemical which is applied to dissolve this gum weakens the fibre. New processes, however, have been found which accomplish this object more success- fully, and we may look forward toramie, both in the growing of it and its manufacture, as the most valuable industry of the future. The Chinese have been able to produce from it some exceedingly fine fabrics, but even with the cheapness of their labor these have been high in price. TRAFFIC THROUGH ST. MARY’S FALLS CANAL. The month of June shows phenomenal traffic passing through the canal during that month, outside of freight tonnage. Over the corresponding month last year there was an increase of 530 vessels passing the canal, and a large increase in registered and freight tonnage. Comparative statement with June, 1894: Registered Passages. tonnage. OG gictavad bear sreceielacptels waco eebe mice 2,875 2,637,636 SOAS eae ie aisiate sl ac ahenecer ovens arenssans tae 2,345 2,119,731 Increase 23: Saas cae ee. 530 517,905 Freight Passages. tonnage. NS OS eens eather See es eae a asees 4,614 2,209,046 OOM oe eee Wren eattoanclets a als ee Th 3,727 1,842,309 ENCLedSe. thes sy ncare epee wens 887 366,677 Number and class of vessels : Steamershs oospss v essai ccs eee 1,922 Sail irae nee ne ete seicen are herons dain ceqnenas 848 Rafts and unregistered craft ................ 105 FRotalepassamesmaanis senescence 2875 Total number of lockages................ .5- 1,050 Total registered tonnages <2. cis 7.5. segs) ss 2,637,636 MNotal freight tonnage. oy isi css sts ee sk 2,209,046 Total number of pdssages.................... 2,875 Time lock was operated, 686 hours and 18 minutes, Aggregate time consumed by vessels in passing, 1,614 hours. —_ rr 0 ce er AN APPEAL BY ERIE CANAL MEN. The canal men held a meeting in the Spaulding Ex- change, Buffalo, last Friday afternoon. The meeting was called for the purpose of.urging the enforcement of the state law, which fixes elevator charges at % ofa cent in and out. Itis claimed that “% of a cent is now being charged under the guise of ‘‘storage.’’ The charges now made against canal cargoes by the eleya- tors are ‘‘elevating and storage, 7% of a cent,’’ claimed that the storage proviso in the charges is but a trick to raise the transfer rate, as storage is charged on grain that isin the elevators but a few hours or eyen a few minutes, when the cargoes go through a prac- tically evict transfer. The resolutions which were adopted are as follows: Resolved, That we, canal forwarders and Erie canal boatmen, partners of the state in the transportation business, implore Goy. Morton and the Attorney-Gen- eral to compel the Buffaio railroad grain elevator com- bine to comply with the state’s grain elevator law, as the sums illegally collected by the said elevator com- bine for elevating canal grain amounts to $64 on a pair of canal boats loaded with wheat, $70 on corn, and $120 on oats. . Resolved, That it is this robbery on canal commerce that has forced nearly all the boatmen to tie up all their boats, while the railroadscarry out of Buffalo daily from 400,000 to 800,000 bushels of grain; and be it further kesolved, 'That we earnestly appeal to the press and to all the friends of the Erie canal to aid the movement to compel said elevator combine to elevate canal grain at the rate fixed by the statute. Resolved, 'That the secretary be instructed to forward a copy of these resolutions to Gov. Morton, also to the Attorney-General. The railroads having come toan agreement regarding the advance of grain rates, freights on the Erie canal are expected to take a jump soon. The canal men have been idle so long that they are talking of holding out A a good stiff rate to make up for the time they have ost.’ Its > ST. CLAIR CANAL RULES. The cards bearing the rules and regulations for the government of the St. Clair Flats ship canal are out. These rules were made by act of Congress of August Tf; last year, and went into effect this month. Many of the old rules are still in force, but there are also some im- portant changes. For instance, the government has concluded that the banks of the canal are wearing bet- ter than expected, and have changed the speed at which boats are allowed to pass through from five to eight miles an hour. What follows in the rules is all new: To prevent blockades in the canal or its approaches the custodian is authorized to detain any vessel at either end until, in his, opinion, a safe passage can be secured, and no one is Allowed to interfere with him while in the discharge of his duty. No person in charge of a vessel shall al- low it to enter or attempt to pass through the canal at a time when the available depth of water in the canal is not as great as the draft of the vessel, and the custo- dian is directed to announce from time to time in the daily papers the available depth of water in the canal. There would seem to be little call for this last provision. There has been no trouble of that nature in three years, or since the canal was dredged out. It is a 21-foot canal now, and it is not likely that any boats are going to load beyond 19 feet when the whole deep channel is completed. All boats are prohibited from attempting to pass through the canal in the face of running ice without the express permission of the custodian. They cannot hug the banks in passing, or deviate more from the middle of the canal than is necessary for safe navigation. This provision is of course intended to protect the sides of the canal, or the dikes, as they are called, from con- tact with the sides of boats. All boats are prohibited from obstructing the canal in any way, or from inten- tionally delaying, by slow passage through the canal or by any other means, the progress of other boats navi- gating the canal. The penalty for violation of, these rules is the old one of a fine of not more than $500 or of imprisonment of not more than six months. NOTES. THE state of Washington has a greater number of safe harbors and a longer shore line in proportion to its area than Kurope. The area of the inside tidewater is 1,258 square miles, and the total tidewater of the state is 1,576 square miles. “J THOUGHT you were going to havea ship canal to the Mississippi River,’’’? said a visitor. ‘‘We are,” re- plied a Chicagoan. ‘‘Pooh!’’ exclaimed the other. ‘What can you ship down it when there are fixed bridges?’ ‘‘Water,’’ replied the Chicagoan promptly. —Chicago Post, Exports of general merchandise from the port of New York for the week ending June 19, were valued at $3,474,048, against $7,200,542 in the preceding week and $6,449,714 for the corresponding week of last year. 'To- tal since January 1, $146,427,919 against $159,750,433 corresponding period last year. OEE De —e TRADE NOTES. *The firm of A. Schrader & Son, New York, has been. changed to A. Schrader’s Son. The business will be conducted, as heretofore, by George H. F. Schrader, and his large marine acquaintance is certain to result in prosperous times for the firm. The Steam Separator; its object, action and applica- tion, is the name of a little 36-page pamphlet issued by Charles D. Mosher. It is primarily intended as an ad- vertisement of the Mosher separator, but contains much that is equally applicable to other forms of the apparatus, and that is very useful. Sent free on appli- cation to the author, at No. 1 Broadway, New York. The World Specialty Company, of Detroit, Mich., manufacturers of the International Automatic Injector, are meeting with such a rapid sale that they are con- siderably behind their orders. They state that the great demand for this injector is due to the fact that it han- dies a much hotter water supply than any other auto- matic injector, and also that it meets the rapidly grow- ing demand for an automatic boiler feeder to work under very high steam pressures. SI aE Ot ey

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