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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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City of Cleveland: 1908

City of Cleveland: 1908

Circa 1908. "Steamer City of Cleveland, Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Co., Lake Erie Division." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

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Side timbers

The timbers on the side of the boats are wood fenders to prevent damage when side docking. When boat is away from the dock the bottom of the fenders are pulled up on deck hanging at about a 45% angle.


Just what are those big timbers hanging from the side of the ship?

[Pier bumpers. - Dave]

Quite a Contrast

The elegant steamer dressed to the nines contrasted with the spewing soot from her boilers. Breathing on the afterdeck might have been difficult.

Pleasure Cruiser

This and other lake boats were enjoyed by thousands of people in the Great Depression, myself included.

A little history

City of Cleveland III, US.204080, Sidewheel Overnight Passenger Steamer built in 1907 by the Detroit Ship Building Co., Wyandotte, Mich., as Hull #168. Launched January 5, 1907 as City of Cleveland for the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Co., Detroit, Mich. Length 420 feet by 54 feet wide. Powered by a 6,500 hp three cylinder inclined compound steam engine and eight coal-fired Scotch boilers. Because of a fire in her cabins during fit out at the shipyard, her maiden voyage was delayed a year until May 1908. She was built for the Detroit and Cleveland overnight run. She was renamed City of Cleveland III in 1912. On June 26, 1950 the Norwegian freighter Ravnefjell collided with the City of Cleveland III in early morning fog in Lake Huron off Harbor Beach, Mich. The Norwegian vessel crashed into the D & C liner's cabins but did not penetrate her hull. Four passengers were lost in the collision. The Cleveland III was able to proceed to Detroit where she discharged her remaining passengers. She did not sail again and was scrapped at Buffalo in 1956.

Cleveland Steamer

That is a fabulous picture of the boat, but I always imagined a Cleveland Steamer looking a little different.

Method of Propulsion

I assume this steamer is propeller driven? I don't see a paddle wheel.

[Look closely and you'll see that the boat is a sidewheeler. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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