Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Marine Record (Cleveland, OH), August 15, 1895, p. 6

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6 ~ SOMETHING ABOUT THE HERRESHOFFS. The shipbuilding genius of the Herreshoffs descends fromthe maternal line. The brothers are grandsons of Charles: Frederick Herreshoff, who removed from Germany to Rhode Island in 1790, and married a daugh- ter of John Brown, a large shipowner and commander of the fleet which burned the British ship Gaspee in 1773. © His ‘sou, also Charles Frederick, was born in 1819, and died in 1888, leaving seven sons. James Brown, who was educated at Brown University, became a mechanical engineer, and invented in 1877, the coil boiler for steam vessels. The two brothers most promi- nent in the present shipbuilding company are John Brown, who was born in 1841, and who became blind when only 15 years old, and whois president of the com- pany, and Nathaniel Greene, seven years younger, who is designer and general manager. Nat was educated at the Boston Institute for Technology, and was employed fot seven years at the famous Corliss Engine Works. He brought out the famous catamarans in 1877. The president, however, remains the real head of the company. He does all of the headwork and preliminary planning. Being stoneblind he must carry every figure and calculation in his head. He has probably the most retentive memory of any man in the world, and, as he is not annoyed by seeing anything of an interrupting character, his powers of concentration are wonderful. ‘Friends say that when John was a small boy, as soon as he was trusted with a pocket knife, he whittled out miniature boats of all styles. At the age of 15, just be- fore he became blind, he built a good-sized cat-boat for sailing on Bristol Bay, and its lines were so finely drawn that she won all the scrub races of the day. This boat gave the youth a local fame that is now only botinded by the confines of the earth. All that John Herreshoff had seen prior to his blind- ness he can now summon up before him, and his mem- ory in this respect, down to the most minute detail, is most remarkable. From a description he can set up an intricate piece of machinery, and explain its workings and defects. He attends to the making of contracts for steamcraft. A striking instance of his extraordinary cal- culating power was shown a few years ago. While work- ing athis office in Bristol, he received a telegram from the New York consul of a South American government, asking him to go at once to New York to meet represen- tatives of a South American government. Herreshoff reached the consul’s office at the appointed time, and was informed that three torpedo boats of a novel de- sign were wanted. ‘These boats were to be built in sec- tions, so that they could easily be shipped on the deck of a steamer to their destination. Several other condi- tions were attached, and then Mr. Herreshoff was asked what he would build them for? “T must have time to think it over,’ he said. ‘‘How much time?” “Twenty minutes.”’ Then this man simply sat still and thought. He carefully considered the plans and specifications of the boats, the cost of ma- terial, the time it would take his men to build, the mechanical possibilities of building them in sections as required. These and a dozen other features of the proposition were gone over. As soon as one part was duly considered he madé a mental note of the result, and took up the next, finally totaling the various items. At the expiration of twenty minutes he had his answer ready, and the contract was closed. The boats were constructed and shipped as ordered. Mr. Herreshoff is at the shops every morning at 9 o’clock when he is at home. He moves about the office without assistance. The pigeon holes of his desk are filled with papers and documents of all kinds, and al- though he has never seen one of them, he can pick out any particular paper he may want simply through mem- ory and his sense of touch, which has been developed to a truly wonderful degree. A secretary reads all the morning’s mail to him, and when each letter has been gone over Mr. Herreshoff dictates the reply. He is kept minutely informed of all the doings in the yard, and in this way he keeps a perfect picture in his mind of the workings of the whole establishment. Mr. Herreshoff sometimes sits for halfa day at his desk, with his head resting on his hands, thinking. Great problems in mathematics he can work out in this way, and wonderful devices in mechanics are evolyed without the aid ofsecretary, pen or paper. All the models of vessels to be buiit are submitted to him. If the work is of extreme importance, such as the THE MARINE RECORD. building of a cup defender, the president sometimes Sits for days, rubbing his hands lightly over the model, thus getting a perfect picture of the lines of the boat. Many changes suggest themselves to him, and he works them out with mathematical precision to show their correct- ness. $$ —— et ASHTABULA’S NEW STATION KEEPER. (ILLUSTRATED.) | Capt. F. EK. Walworth, keeper of the new life-saving station at Ashtabula Harbor. while he has not been long in his present rank, has yet seen considerable serv- ice in this line, both after he enlisted, and before he made a profession of the work. He was born at Selkirk, on the dreaded Mexico Bay, October 5, 1848. He took to the water early, and his first rescue was that of a young comrade, who wasin bathing. The heavy under- tow was carrying him rapidly awzy from the shore, when young Walworth swam off through the breakers and returned with his playmate, who had a very nar- row escape from drowning. Capt. Walworth’s early years, after he attained the age of self-support, were spent in sailing and fishing. CAPT. F. E. WALWORTH. He entered the life-saving service in 1883, under Capt. Blackburn, and served until the autumn of 1884. He sailed for some time, again, and then re*entered the service in 1889 at Oswego, under Capt. f. EK, Chapman, and remained in that station until Captain, now Supt. Chapman, of Lake Erie district, recommended and se- cured his appointment as keeper of the new Ashtabula station, established last season. - eae OE NEW PATENTS. Jacob Peterson, of Two Harbors, has received letters patent, No. 543,314, on a new oar lock, by the use of which the rower may sit facing either bow or stern-at pleasure. Other patents granted lately were No. 543,- 179, Means for Ventilating Vessels, to Benjamin A. Davis, New York; No. 543,210, Design for Vessel, to prevent excessive heeling, to Nathan C. Jessup, West- hampton, N. Y.; No. 542,129, Anchor, to Herbert O. Dunn, Baltimore ; No. 542,992, Submerged Paddle-Wheel, to Daniel S. Dark, New York; No. 543,730, Light-Signal, to David P. Heap, United States Army; No. 543,637, Dredger, to Lindon W. Bates, Chicago; No.. 543,650, Bow-Facing Oar, to Thomas J. Murphy, Cincinnati; No. 543,756, Diving Apparatus, to Hubert Schon, Alle- gheny, Pa.; No. 543,860, Propeller, to Julius W. Flowers and Minor J. Fox, Newport, Ore.; No. 543,909, Screw Propeller, to Walter Thompson, Chicago, assignor to H. Duane Hurlbut, Paterson, N. J.; No. 544,100, Lobster Trap,.to George Hurst, Canso, Can. Full description of any of these can be pbtained at the Patent Office, Washington. THE CLEVELAND AND BUFFALO BOAT. General Manager Newman, of the Cleveland & Buf- falo Transit Co., has received blue-prints of the cabin plans of the new steamer which is being built for the — line by the Detroit Dry-dock Co. The material has been : delayed very badly at the mills, but the Otis Steel Co. which is furnishing the angles, has begun to turn 0 the plates this week, and will continue until it is all furnished. a The staterooms on the main cabin deck are numbered to 71, with four parlors and two bath rooms in addition, On the gallery deck the staterooms number from 100 to 158,,and have in addition two parlors, each to be fur- nished with a bath. These two parlors are at the ex- treme forward end of the saloon, and just aft of the officers’ quarters, each has a large .window looking o ahead over the quarter of the vessel, and they are absc lutely the best that are to be afforded on any boat, bei about 14 x 16 feet in size. The staterooms are arranged wherever at all practicable, with connecting doors, which are of the sliding type, in order that parties of all sizes may be accommodated as they like. The dining room is entered from the social hall substantially as de- scribed last week, and will seat 125 persons, extra space with private dining rooms being provided aft of the offices on the main deck. In the forward part of the ship, below the main deck, are the crew’s quarters on one side, and onthe other a large and well furnished apartment will be arranged, separated by a steel fore and-aft bulkhead from the crew’s quarters, and well ventilated by forced draft, and containing 125 berths, to be sold at low rates to men, sufficient space in the state- rooms always being reserved for ladies. ke LAKE ERIE’S SEA SERPENT. Lorain is steadily forging to the front as a lake port and summer resort. Her latest accomplishment has been to unearth a sea serpent, or the skeleton of an un- known*monster which is claimed to be something of the sort, according to the Lorain Times. The remains were unearthed by a gang of workmen engaged in excavat- ing for the intake water pipe, and were found fully eight feet beneath the surface of the beach, where they ~ of had lain for many years. The bones recovered con- sisted of seven or eight vertebra, fins, ribs, and upper jaw. The latter is about twelve inches in length, and shaped like an alligator’s, although there is noevidence of any teeth having ever been in the jaw. The vertebrz are dovetailed together, and have short protuberances and fin connections. ‘The latter are about eight inches in length. The ribs of the monster are more than two feet long and very oval shaped. The head andspinal column fit nicely together, and show that the former was on a plane with the latter, and did not extend perpendicularly, or protrude at an angle. — The frontispiece of the head is about three inches through and formed a strong protection to the brain. The skeleton was placed in- the hands of Prof. M. K. Trembly, a local naturalist and geologist, who says there is no resemblance on the part of the bones to any known wild or domesticanimal. He estimates the length of the monster to have been more than 20 feet. The city of Lorain has put in a claim for the skeleton, with the idea of placing itin a museum there. Replevin proceedings were taken, when the skeleton suddenly disappeared. It will probably soon turn up again. ee gp TERRESTRIAL MAGNETISM. As a result of the first triangulations of Kuropean Rus- sia in 1854-55, very peculiar observations about the mag- netic variations of the needle have been made. ‘The de- © flections of the needle have been found to be nearly the double amount as normal for that latitude and longitude. In a section near Moscow covering a terr.tory of about thirty miles from north to south and about 150 miles east to west, investigations show peculiar and abnormal facts which puzzled the engineers of that section since 1854. From H. Fri'sche, who had charge of the observa- tions, and who made extremely careful measurements and calculations, has now claimed that in the vicinity of Moskan, there must be enormous quantities of iron ore, but unfortunately about 3,500 miles below the surface of the globe, therefore rather to> deep for future develop- — ment of mines. eo. on -— — All charts of all portions of the lakes sty lies promptly by THE Maring REecorRD, No. 144 Sunsean St.

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