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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SPANGLES: THE CONTINENTAL CIRCUS

Ghost Ship: 1909

Ghost Ship: 1909

April 28, 1909. "Launching party, freighter Benjamin Noble, Wyandotte, Michigan." 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

        Top-heavy with a cargo of steel rails, the Benjamin Noble capsized in a squall 20 miles out from Duluth on April 14, 1914, vanishing into Lake Superior with the loss of all hands. After 90 years as a "ghost ship," its wreck was discovered at a depth of 400 feet off Knife Island in 2004, the front half buried in 40 feet of mud -- "heavily overloaded, just a submarine waiting to happen."

 

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The Noble Olive

The young lady with the large bouquet who christened the vessel is Olive Noble, eldest daughter of the ship's namesake, president of Detroit's Capitol Brass Works and organizer of the Capitol Transportation Company that owned it.

They were a Hardy Lot!

Let's say the folks there average, oh, 165 pounds each. That's about 5,000 pounds of live-load on that rickety platform! And to have what looks like the "trigger" lines running below the reviewing stand? No chance of something snagging the flimsy framework of cobbled-together lumber and bracing — is there? A hardy, and trusting, lot indeed.

[If anything does go wrong, they'll be Hardy Buoys. - Dave]

Suppose anyone there's named Bob?

"Grease the skids"

Here we see the origin of the term.

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