Aerial Bridge: Whaleback Leaving Duluth-Superior Harbor Loaded With Ore, Duluth, Minnesota

Whaleback is an unusual ship design with steel hulls (body of the vessel) and rounded decks (boat, hurricane, main -which is the lowest full-length deck in a ship’s hull, and spar are all decks at different levels) which was introduced by the inventor Captain Alexander McDougall of Duluth in 1888. It was a very stable vessel. American Steel Barge Company, a New York corporation engaged in shipbuilding and transportation on the Great Lakes as well as on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, purchased all of the patents for McDougalls whaleback vessels for $25,000. The only remaining whaleback is the Meteor, which is now a museum at Barker’s Island in Superior, Wisconsin.

~ Photo Credit: University of Minnesota Duluth, Kathryn A. Martin Library, Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections

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