Saturday, February 27, 2016

Marine Angel --- largest ship on Chicago River as of 1953

Bowling Green Statue University
Chicago, IL; Western Ave. Bridge, 1953
From CALUMET 412 I learned about the ship Marine Angel. From BGSU, I learned the dimensions were originally 496x72x26.  It was built in 1945 as a troop transport. In 1952 it was converted to a bulk carrier. Then in 1953 it went up the Mississippi River to Manitowoc, WI to be converted to a self-unloader with "a 250-foot bow-mounted self-unloading boom that can be swung 120 degrees to port or starboard." (BoatNerd) When it made this trip in 1953 it was the largest ship to use the Chicago River. (The St. Lawrence Seaway was not opened until 1959.)

A comment for a reposting of the CALUMET 412 link:
Timothy Hinsdale The largest ship was the Medusa Challenger. It was specially built to navigate the Chicago River.
The Madusa Challenger was 551x56x31.

1953 might have been the last time the railroad swing bridges along the Sanitary and Ship Canal were turned. And I wonder when the water control lock at the mouth of the Chicago River was built.
University of Detroit Mercy
After its conversion to a laker, it was rechristened McKee Sons. The conversion in Baltimore added 123 feet, so its length when it went through the canal and Chicago River was 620.4 feet. (UDmercy) But the locks on the Illinois River are just 600 feet long.

The bridge in the foreground was the Metropolitan L Bridge.



After doing this research, I came across a posting by Eric Dudi Huebner that has some more pictures.

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