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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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Detroit of Detroit: 1904

Detroit of Detroit: 1904

Ecorse, Michigan. 1904. "Steamer Detroit, Michigan Central transfer, stern view from under." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

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Better Than

... a Detroit steamer.

Detroit of Detroit

A ferry so nice, they had to name it twice.

Old growth forest

I'm amazed at the beam that forms the sloping rail of the slipway: 18-24 inches square and about 50 feet of unbroken length that I can see. Good luck finding a piece of lumber like that today.

A biased Story

"Funny how all these timbers are on a slant. I wonder what this chock is for? YIKES, the whole ship is sliding sideways! SOMEBODY STOP IT!"


What a grand shot. I hope there's a shot somewhere of this steamer so we can get a better idea of the design. Two neat touches: the tiny DANGER sign; today, you're talkin' temporary chain link, at least, and, the depth markings are Roman numerals; today they'd probably be Arabic. A new favourite shot.

Don't forget the bunk boards

The Detroit operated as a railcar ferry between Detroit and Windsor on the Detroit River. She had twin screws and a rudder on each end, all of which operated in both directions. As well as propelling the vessel, the bow screws also functioned to break winter ice. The deck portion of her bow was straight across, allowing it to fit against the loading apron. The Detroit was built with three tracks on her deck, with a capacity of 24 freight cars. The foregoing is from an excellent summary (with great pictures) of the Detroit in George W. Hilton’s book, “The Great Lakes Car Ferries, “ page 34. (Available online as a Google book.) The picture brings to mind my experience in the mid 60s of working on the GTW car ferry, City of Milwaukee. Never did get seasick, but was scared like never before during a storm. I cherish those memories now.


One of the Monitor class of ships, no doubt.

SHORPY OLD 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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