National Geographic : 1917 Mar
Photograph by A. E.Young FOLLOWING THE LEADER: OPENING OF NAVIGATION THROUGH THE ICE,ST. MARY'S RIVER Upon this watercourse, 40 miles in length, and the canals which parallel it is borne the vast volume offreight from theterritory skirting Lake Superior. More than 20,000 vessels pass through these canals every year, bearing from Minnesota,Wisconsin, northern Michigan, and Ontario a world's food supply of grain and ore for armor plate and munitions to the various manufacturingcities onour Great Lakes, and thence tothe Atlantic seaboard. The canals are notable for the fact that they carry the largest amount of water-borne traffic ofallartificial waterways inthe world. When the spring thaw begins the huge carriers take their southeasterly course in what seemsan endless chain ofcommerce, each vessel a gigantic link of steel.