Vessels in the Port of San Francisco


Yankee Whalebacks

° Vessels & Rigging ° Clippers ° Steamships ° Lines ° Builders ° Shipwrecks

Daily Californian, Thursday, August 27, 1891
Bakersfield, California, U.S.A.

"YANKEE WHALEBACKS"

The above is the name given by the British Pall Mall Budget to the remarkable new type of freight ships invented by Captain Alexander McDougall, of Superior, Wisconsin. Attention has been recently called to these vessels by the successful passage of one of them across the Atlantic ocean. This whaleback steamer, the Charles W. Wetmore, sailed direct from Duluth, Minnesota to Liverpool, carrying a cargo of 95,000 bushels of grain. (Editor's Note: Not sure of number; difficult to read.)

One advantage of the whaleback is that it costs not nearly so much to build as the ordinary vessel. The first one made cost only $45,000. But the great and overwhelming point in its favor is that with the same expenditure of steam power it carries twice as much freight as the old style ship. This has been demonstrated beyond question.

Captain McDougall was himself a sailing master on the lakes and knew every inch of his ground. He knew also what comparatively few persons do, that the freight carried across our great inland lakes exceeds in one year that conveyed by all the Atlantic steamers combined. He built his model to meet the requirements of the occasion, and now it will be adopted for all ocean freight carriers.

Monitor Fighting the Merrimac.
USS Monitor Fighting the CSS Merrimac

When all is said and done, however, it must still be remembered that the whaleback vessel is simply another modification of Ericsson's Monitor.

The pattern reverses the ordinary shape of a ship, and is flat bottomed and round decked. The part above the water when the ship is loaded looks something like an Indian's moccasin. It is not meant that anybody shall promenade the decks of the whaleback. As in the case of the Monitor, the water in the fiercest storm washes over the deck and slips off. The part that can be damaged is far under water, safe from wind and wave.

There are two kinds of whaleback vessels, steam propellers and steel barges for towing. The barges look very much like a monitor, the wheelhouse appearing on top like a turret. So rapidly are these vessels superseding the old ones that the company manufacturing them is preparing to launch a new one every week, fifty-two a year. When the whaleback vessel first appeared in the lake waters the seamen christened it the "pig," a name by which it is still known there. But undoubtedly it will be known in commerce as the whaleback, from its shape.

Malvern Leader, November 5, 1891, Malvern, Iowa

IT all sounds very natural that the Engineer; the English technical journal, should thus early take the trouble to show how impossible a craft the "whaleback" is and must always be. The modest and promising task, as it calls it, of its trans-Atlantic kinsmen "teaching their grandparents the way to make barges" that journal considers little short of an affront. "A moment's consideration," says the New York Tribune, "will show how dangerous the whaleback is for ocean navigation, and how impossible it is that the new Yankee craft could have any advantages; and then it makes sure that shipowners would never, never encourage a type of vessel so entirely unlike "the typical steamers of our merchant fleet."

Let us see; wasn't it the English engineers who proved beyond a pre-adventure that a locomotive could never be made to draw a train over smooth rails? Wasn't it a well-known English scientist Dr. Lardner who undertook to eat the first steamboat that crossed the. Atlantic? And didn't the English naval authorities demonstrate how absurd it was to suppose that the screw propeller could ever move a vessel through the water? These things were altogether too wide departures from English conservatism to be possible. The whaleback, in addition, prevents the objection of being an American contrivance. Of course it. is still an experiment, notwithstanding some successful voyages; but it is one at least from which something may be hoped. And, as in the case of some other experiments, it may hereafter be a little embarrassing to have proved so much against it in advance.


If you cannot find your preferred books locally, please consider utilizing links provided to Amazon.com which has proven to be reliable on service and delivery.

Beyond the Golden Gate: A Maritime History of California Maritime History of California.A Maritime History of California.
Timothy G. Lynch
Beyond the Golden Gate: A Maritime History of California is the first book-length treatment of California's connection to the sea. Noted maritime historian Timothy Lynch looks at the history of the Golden State through the prism of the maritime world: how the region developed and how indigenous people interacted with the marine ecosystem. And how they and others - Spanish, English, Russian, American - interpreted and constructed the oceans, lakes and river networks of the region.

The waterways served as highways, protective barriers, invasion routes, cultural inspiration, zones of recreation, sources of sustenance: much as they do today. He presents how the Gold Rush transformed the region, wreaking havoc on the marine environment, and how the scale and scope of maritime operations waxed and waned in the decades after that event. In all, the delicate balance between protection and utilization is paramount.

Written as part of a project with the National Park Service and the Organization of American Historians, Beyond the Golden Gate is an immersive look at the maritime history of California that will inspire additional scholarship in this overlooked but critically important field. Benefitting from hundreds of primary sources, dozens of captivating images and reflective of the latest trends in the field, Beyond the Golden Gate is sure to satisfy the curious reader, the serious historian, and the maritime aficionado.

Encyclopedia of Underwater and Maritime ArchaeologyUnderwater and Maritime Archaeology.
Executive Director James P. Delgado, Editor
Underwater and Maritime Archaeology.

This comprehensive reference book on the discovery and recovery of underwater archaeological remains around the world was directed by noted author and diver James Delgado, along with archaeologists and scientists who have made the discoveries.

It offers a wealth of authoritative and accessible information on shipwrecks, drowned cities, ritual deposits, and other relics of our submerged past. Published in association with the British Museum Press.

X Marks the Spot: The Archaeology of Piracy Archaeology of Piracy.
(New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology)
Prof. Rusell K. Skowronek, Editor, Charles R. Ewen, Editor
A collection with historical evidence about the actual exploits of pirates as revealed in archaeological records. The recent discovery of the wreck of Blackbeard's Queen Anne’s Revenge, off Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina, has provoked scientists to ask, "What is a pirate?

Were pirates sea-going terrorists, lawless rogues who plundered, smuggled, and illegally transported slaves, or legitimate corsairs and privateers?" Highlighting such pirate vessels as the Speaker, which sailed in the Indian Ocean, and the Whydah, the first pirate ship discovered in North America (near the tip of Cape Cod), the contributors analyze what constitutes a pirate ship and how it is different from a contemporary merchant or naval vessel.

Maritime History as World HistoryMaritime History as World History.
(New Perspectives on Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology)
Daniel Finamore
Maritime History."In the 21st century the division between the maritime and terrestrial worlds has virtually disappeared. Events and issues that previously involved only maritime subjects need to be reexamined today from the perspective of those events and developments occurring simultaneously ashore. It is through this approach, as demonstrated by this fine collection of essays, that maritime history becomes a vehicle for understanding global history."

Essays by many of the world’s leading scholars present an up-to-date assessment of the field of maritime history in the early 21st century, offering fresh insights into the impact of seaborne exploration, warfare, and commerce on the course of history, from the independent traditions of ancient Japanese, Arab, and Mediterranean seafarers to the rapid European expansion around the globe from the 16th century onward.

Author Daniel Finamore is Russell W. Knight Curator at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

Maritime Archaeology.The Oxford Handbook of Maritime ArchaeologyOxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology.
(Oxford Handbooks)
Alexis Catsambis
A comprehensive survey of the field as seen through the eyes of nearly fifty scholars at a time when maritime archaeology has established itself as a mature branch of archaeology. This volume draws on many distinct and universal aspects of maritime archaeology, bringing them together under four main themes: research process, ships and shipwrecks, maritime and nautical culture, and issues of preservation and management.

Archaeology of East Asian Shipbuilding.Archaeology of East Asian Shipbuilding
Jun Kimura
“The most comprehensive technical inventory of East Asian shipbuilding and shipwrecks available to date, this detailed analysis refines our understanding of East Asia ship construction.”—Hans Konrad Van Tilburg, author of Chinese Junks on the Pacific: Views from a Different Deck

The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.

SITE SEARCH

HOME PORT

Kindly Kindly support our work.

Inquiries

DALevy @
MaritimeHeritage.org



MaritimeHeritage.us
MaritimeHeritage.org
MaritimeNations.com
MaritimeHeritageProject.com
SeaportsOfTheWorld.com
InternationalHarbors.com
ThePassengerLists.com
ShipPassengers.com
WikiSeaports.com

Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

Please inform us if you link from your site. Please do NOT link from your site unless your site specifically relates to immigration in the 1800s, family history, maritime history, international seaports, and/or California history.