Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Marine Record (Cleveland, OH), September 5, 1895, p. 6

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S AMERICAN LAKE STEAMERS FOR OCEAN TRAFFIC. The leading article in Cassier’s Magazine for Sep- tember is furnished by Mr. Joseph R. Oldham, of Cleve- land, under the above caption. It is profusely illus- trated with views of the best types of lake and ocean passenger aud cargo steamers, andifills about fourteen pages. Some extracts from this are printed below: “The latter part of the nineteenth century,’’ says Mr. Oldham, ‘‘may be appropriately classed as the modern era of steamship canal construction; for though’ the orig- inal Suez canal may have been excavated about 2,300 years ago, during the reign of Darius the First,, that ancient waterway was probably not projected, nor com- modious enough, for the transit of large, deep steamers. Proceeding on the assumption that before many years elapse a waterway will be open between Lake Erie and the Atlantic, by which 600-foot steamers, drawing over 20. feet of water, may safely pass between ocean and lakes, it may be well to consider the general efficiency, or the degree of deficiency of American lake steamers for participating in the North Atlantic trade. “In the North Atlantic it isnot uncommon for ships to encounter a succession of gales of wind, accompan- ied by very rough seas, during the whole of the ocean voyage of ten or twelve days. This experience is not generally met with in any other trade. Asa consequence, strong awning-deck steamers, like the Pacific Mail boats, which would answer well forthe trade, say, between New Orleans and the Mediterranean, are not sufficiently rigid for the more northerly course.

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