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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE NAVY NEEDS YOU IN THE WAVES

Tucked In: 1905

Tucked In: 1905

Circa 1905. "Freighters in winter quarters." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

E.M. Ford on the river

The Ford can be seen here in this old Bing map. I used to pass it on the water every weekend.

Backseat Driving

The after steering station was likely an emergency redundant steering mechanism in case the normal steering wheel was disabled. It could potentially be used to add more manpower to turning the main system. Most ships do have an emergency wheel somewhere apart from the main wheel.

Not overly familiar with the layouts and practices on the lakers, I would make an educated guess that in certain circumstances, such as maneuvering into locks or along side loading or unloading docks, a second pilot or complete ship control crew located aft where they could better see what was happening might be very useful.

Where's the E. M. Ford pic?

I'd like to see Mr. Lafferty's 1962 pic.

Backseat Driver

Out of curiosity, why the ship's wheels on the rear decks of a couple of these ships? Backup steering? I believe the bridge was well forward in lake steamers by 1900.

Presque Isle of Fairport

The vessel to the right of the Delaware is still with us. In the photo she is the Presque Isle, launched May 25, 1898, at Cleveland by the Cleveland Ship Building Company for the Presque Isle Transportation Company of Mentor, Ohio. In 1956 she was converted to a self-unloading cement carrier at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and renamed E. M. Ford in honor of the chairman of her new owners, the Huron Portland Cement Company. She remained in service until 1996 when she was retired from service and used to store cement at Saginaw, Michigan. Sold for scrap in 2008, the E. M. Ford nevertheless remains intact today, laid up at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She was a very handsome vessel in her later years, with a majestic pilothouse. Below is a photo I took of the E. M. Ford at South Chicago in 1962. I was just a kid.

Cool!

Dave, I'm liking the winter shots. I've heard you've had some hot weather in the States recently, are you trying to cool down?

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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