National Geographic : 1908 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE 70 ESKIMO HUNTER, KING WILLIAMS LAND that Proctor Knott ridiculed Duluth, the future great and Zenith City of the un salted seas. Last week, a steel freight steamer with every modern convenience for economic transportation, brought down from Du luth through the Sault canal and deliv ered at Buffalo the largest cargo of wheat ever carried by any ship in the world, 422,000 bushels; enough to make 84,000 barrels of flour, and at 14 bushels to the acre, representing the product of 30,000 acres, approximately 50 square miles; and I have it from of ficial sources that we may take this average. In 1907, in about 232 days of navigation, Duluth shipped in the single item of ore over 13,000,000 long tons, and her sister city across the bay over 7,ooo,ooo tons more. One-third of all the tonnage under the American flag is employed on the Great Lakes. As an example of the progress of transportation a comparison may be illustrative. In the last fiscal year, of ships of over I,ooo tons custom-house measure ment, there were built in other parts of the United States, 18 steel and wooden steamers, ferry boats and schooners, with a tonnage of 41,355 tons. In the same period on the lakes there were built 40 steel steamers, each upward of 1,ooo tons, and of aggregate custom house tonnage of 232,366 tons. It may not be out of place to say that more than 30 of these exceeded 5,000 tons custom-house measure ments. The custom-house meas urement, it must be borne in mind, represents only something more than one-half the actual dead weight carrying capacity of our lake ships at the draft which they can carry through the shallower connecting waters between the lakes themselves. Therefore, it is that a steel steamer of the prevailing type, say from 556 to over 600 feet length, 54 to 60 feet beam and 32 feet depth carries Io, ooo, or more, long tons of iron ore on a draft of a little over 18 feet to which connecting waters consign her, and 12, ooo to 14,00ooo tons in such a trade as be tween Escanaba and the great steel works at the head of Lake Michigan, in which trade the steamer is not required to en counter the restricted draft compelled in the connection betwen Lake Superior and Lake Huron and Lake Erie, by reason of natural conditions which I have not the time to explain.