Monday, January 22, 2018

Edward L. Ryerson, a Great Lakes Steamer

I came across links for this boat twice within hours of each other. As is my policy, when I see a topic twice in a short period of time, I consider that an omen to write about the topic. It did set several milestones in shipping history: "The Ryerson was the last American-flagged new ship built on the Great Lakes until the launch of the Stewart J. Cort in 1972. She was the last U.S. laker to be built as a steamer, the last to be built without a self-unloader, the last lake boat to be constructed at the Manitowoc, WI shipyards, and the last and only to be built with such aesthetically pleasing lines." [BoatNerd]

I found that BoatNerd page when I was researching the introduction of self-unloaders. About four hours later, I saw this posting. See Old Lakers for some other "bridge on the bow" boats that I have seen.

Wisconsin Maritime Museum posted six photos with the comment:
January 21, 1960: The EDWARD L. RYERSON was launched into the ice-filled river at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company. She marked the end of a shipbuilding era as the last freighter built in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The Ryerson was also the last U.S.-flagged laker built as a steamer and the last to be built as a straight-decker (without a self-unloading boom). Built for Inland Steel, she was constructed specifically to carry iron ore pellets.
The Ryerson is beloved by many for her unique streamlined design and distinctive steam whistles. She has been laid up periodically over the years due to downturns in the steel market, but she has amazingly managed to avoid the scrapper's torch. The Edward L. Ryerson has been in long-term layup in Superior, Wisconsin since 2009.

The bulk carrier EDWARD L. RYERSON, nicknamed "Fast Eddie," doing her sea trials on Lake Michigan in August 1960.

The hull of the bulk carrier EDWARD L. RYERSON ready to be launched at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company on January 21, 1960.

The EDWARD L. RYERSON splashing into the Manitowoc River at 12:00 pm on January 21, 1960. The local newspaper reported "“The hull of the ship rode majestically down the launching way as the ropes were cut. It hit the water with a resounding roar and the ice jammed river swelled into a mountainous wave, grinding ice cakes together with the sound of breaking glass.”

Cover of launching luncheon program for the EDWARD L. RYERSON.

Inside of launching program for the EDWARD L. RYERSON.

Launching schedule for EDWARD L. RYERSON at Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company on January 21, 1960.
Notice the capacity of around 26,000 tons. If I'm remembering correctly, modern 1000-foot Lakers can carry 70,000. Maybe someone can convert the cargo hold into casino rooms.

Ben Stalvey posted
Blast from the past. From Manitowoc WI back in 1960. This slide might bring back memories for some of the locals. Checkout the Edward L Ryerson being constructed back in 1960. Look at the custom tip on the 4600. Looks to be a hammerhead tip even.

Ben Stalvey posted two photos with the comment: "Here are a few shots of the construction of Edward Ryerson in Manitowoc WI at Manitowoc Shipbuilding. Checkout the tip on that 3900."

Mark Goodrich commented on Ben's posting

Wisconsin Maritime Museum posted
It's been a few days since Ever Given got unstuck from the Suez Canal. Did you know the Manitowoc river also got blocked up by a ship once?
The SS Edward L. Ryerson was launched in July 1960, but was too large to turn the bend in the river! Crews had to dredge the river and cut away part of the bank to get the ship out to Lake Michigan. According to sources, it was a lot faster of an unsticking operation than Ever Given and thankfully didn't plug up one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world!
Tove Alecksen: The jackknife bridge was removed to make room for Big Blue when it gets shipped out. Call the Mayor and ask him if you don't believe me! [I assume that Big Blue are the Kronecranes that will go do a naval shipyard.]
Randy Wallander: The notch is still visible in the river Bank.

Paul Rabenhorst shared
James Torgeson: She was the last ship built there. [Manitowoc built a new shipyard in Sturgeon Bay where they had plenty of room and then they could dedicate this location to building cranes.]

Jeff Rueckert posted three photos with the comment: "Flash Back ! Edward L Ryerson in Manitowoc."

Deborah Wiegand commented on a post
This is the Edward L Ryerson( 730') being towed out by the tug Green Bay from the Manitowoc shipyard for her shake-down cruise. (Aug 1960) My dad Les Gamble was the captain on the Green Bay. Also inches on each side to clear each of three bridges. (Photo by Jeff Rueckert)

Chuck Bornemann Amazed she ever got out of Manty.

Skip Heckel posted the question: "Anybody know where the Ryerson is moored?"
Skip Heckel Ben Stalvey I was talking with a friend, Jim Derusha, whose Dad owned Marinette Marine back in the day, he said they had to cut some of the land back because the RYERSON was too long to make it around a bend.
Ben Stalvey Skip Heckel very true it is called the Ryerson bend.
Gen SterenbergGen and 2 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Great Lakes Ship Watchers. I found a cool website with great Ryerson info including 2 MP3 files with salutes at the end.
Ben Stalvey Been sitting in the same place for years

It was not only the last ship launched at Manitowoc, WI, at 730' it was the longest laker at that time. It was also fast, 19mph; thus its nickname of Fast Eddie. [DuluthHarborCam]
(new window) If you about to quit because of boredom, at least skip to 7:21 for a few seconds. And 8:05 is worth a look.

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