Thursday, July 19, 2018

American/Chicago Shipbuilding Co. along the Calumet River

(Satellite, three slips allowed them to make six ships at a time because they were launched sideways.)
Later, they switched to fewer, but bigger ships. They were built in a dry dock and then floated out.

Pete Martin posted
My grandfather in drydock 2 at shipyard. Prob 1966.
Dennis DeBruler It started as Chicago Shipbuilding Co. in 1890.
[idaillinois has a 1916 photo of the gate from search results]

Al Miller posted
On March 9, 1907, the Thomas Lynch was launched in Chicago. These photos are from the Nov-Dec. 1957 issue of Pittsburgh Sidelights.
Dennis DeBruler commented on Al's post
The slips from this shipyard still exist along the Calumet River.

Tony Margis posted
Laura Findeisen Layman I remember seeing these in dry dock.
Rod Sellers posted
View from the Skyway by Daily Calumet photographer, June 5 1974

Rod Sellers posted
Where am I?
Tim Allman View today.,-87.../data=!3m1!1e3
Rod Sellers Answer: Photo was taken by a Daily Calumet photographer covering road work on the Skyway June 5, 1974. Photo shows intersection of 100th Street and Avenue N. American Shipyards in distance to the right. Nancy's Lighthouse at bottom left. Attached photo was also taken at the same time and shows view to the right of the original photo.
Bob Lalich commented on Bibbie Dubuc's comment on Rod's post
In the image below, Interlake Steel's ore dock is in the left foreground, and Republic Steel is in the left background.

Bobbie Dubuc also commented

The attached photo Rod referred to in the above comment.

Rod Sellers posted
Where am I?

Rod commented on his post
Answer: The Chicago Shipbuilding Company was formed in 1890 and was an offshoot of Cleveland's Globe Iron Works. In that same year, land was purchased from the South Chicago Brewing Company at 101st Street and the east bank of the Calumet River as a site for the new shipyard. The shipyard was constructed soon thereafter. The Chicago Shipbuilding Company was the most important of the steel shipbuilding firms in Chicago. In 1898, the Chicago Shipbuilding Company joined the newly created American Shipbuilding Company. By 1900, just after it became part of the American Shipbuilding Co. the Chicago Ship Building Co. employed 1,200 men and ranked as the leading builder of steel ships on the Great Lakes. By the 1920s the company primarily did repair work. In the area around the shipyards a rooming house district for sailors developed.

William Ramp posted
The Robert W. E. Bunsen. Launched at Chicago, May 17, 1900. Renamed and reduced to a barge in 1954. Last recorded as a floating derrick at USX Fairless Steel, Pennsylvania, in 1988.
A great-aunt captured most of her with a box Brownie, but misjudged her forward speed.
Where was this taken? Who now knows... When? probably sometime between 1923(ish) and 1954.
Why bother? It was just fun to ID her. I wonder if the hull still exists.
Bob Laframboise Wow...teensy - weensy pilot house.....but this is 1910 so it serves the purpose ~
William Ramp Bunsen data:
[Bunsen data shows Quadruple Expansion:
"20.5, 30, 43.5 & 63" cylinders by 42" stroke, 1750hp at 75rpm by Chicago Ship Building Co. 15' 4 1/2" x 11', 210 pounds steam, scotch boilers, American Ship Building Co., Lorain, OH."]
Dennis DeBruler I'm glad you indicated that it was launched in Chicago. That means it was probably built in one of these slips along the Calumet River:!3m1!1e3...
Andrew Haenisch William Ramp here is a link for more info on the barge
1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP

Gerald Vilenski posted
The steamer "William E Corey" being launched in South Chicago, 1905...
Gary Schweitzer Why all the masts?
Mark Gilson The masts are to aid in stability during side launching.
Robert Nuke Thompson Mark Gilson how?
Preston Smith Mark Gilson more weight
Dennis DeBruler I assume they use tall weights to increase the angular momentum of the boat so that it won't rock as far from side to side.
[I believe this was the only shipyard big enough to build this boat.]

Rod Sellers posted
Where am I?
That huge pile of salt sits on an oval shaped asphalt pad - I was working for Gallagher Asphalt Corp at the time - our crew had finished paving 100th St from Van Vlinsing (sp) all the way to Ave L & then we paved that salt pad - kind of how I discovered The Golden Shell & The Winners Circle - I have pictures of the lake freighters unloading salt on that pile - I always found the SouthEast Side to be quite an interesting area.
The old Punch shop and administration building.
Don J Buis
 Hello, Don. I remember getting warm in the Punch Shop, talking trigonometry with Jimmy Jagielski. John Skul, who operated the Punch Shop crain, lived across the street from me on 103rd and M.

Rod Sellers commented on his post
Answer: American Shipyard (previously Chicago Shipyard) at 101st and the Calumet River. Easily recognizable by the distinctive arrangement of the slips and dry dock. Chicago Shipbuilding was an offshoot of Cleveland's Globe Iron Works. It became a subsidiary of The American Ship Building Company in 1898 and a division in 1911. Numerous ships were built and launched until WWI. After WWI, American Ship operated it as a repair yard but closed around 1980. Read above comments for more information. Attached photo shows launch of the Manta in 1916.

Michael Mora posted two photos with the comment: ""Repairing a Lake Carrier after a collision," late June/ early July 1905 at dock of then Chicago Ship Building Company, 101st and Calumet River. Detroit Publishing Co. photo, from Maritime History of the Great Lakes,"
"Work being done on the SYLVANIA at the dock of the Chicago Ship Building Company in the Calumet River after her collision with the SIR HENRY BESSEMER. In the background is the Merritt A grain elevator with the SCRANTON moored in front." Late June/early July 1905, Detroit Publishing Co. photo, from Maritime History of the Great Lakes,

"SYLVANIA at the dock of the Chicago Ship Building Company in the Calumet River after her collision with the SIR HENRY BESSEMER. Most of the repair work is being done on the shore (port) side. In the background to the left is the Merritt A grain elevator with the SCRANTON moored in front. A steam yacht is cruising down the river as the passengers take a look at the work being done." Late June/early July 1905, Detroit Publishing Co. photo, from Maritime History of the Great Lakes,

This 1901 map shows that Chicago Shipyard not only had to dig the slips, it had to remove buildings and roads and relocate a railroad.
1901 Calumet Quadrangle @ 1:62,500

Pierre Hamon shared
Jeff Bransky Here’s the story behind that ship which had just been refitted in Chicago and was heading for service on the Great Lakes.
Actually, it was on its way to this shipyard to finish the conversion from a 455' cargo freighter to a 620' ore carrier. Significant work was done by that shipyard on this ship more than once. For example, it was made longer again in 1957 to 716' 3" and a bow thruster was added in 1964.

Larry Cross posted
The CORNELL swings away from the Detour Dock Company on the lower St. Mary's River after taking on bunker coal between 1948 and 1956. She was built in 1900 in South Chicago by the Chicago Shipbuilding Co. and sailed for Pittsburgh Steamship Co. until 1954 when she was sold to the Neptune Steamship Co. and renamed NEPTUNE. In 1958, her original name was restored when she was sold to the Jupiter Steamship Co. Sold and scrapped in 1961 in Italy. Photo by Woodie Jarvis.

James Torgeson shared
The Str. Cornell of US Steel's Pittsburgh Steamship Company has just loaded bunker coal for her boilers in this postwar view. Coal docks like this once peppered the Great Lakes, but began to disappear as lakers were either built to burn oil or were converted. Today there's still one coal burner, the Carferry Badger, which sails across Lake Michigan from May to October.

More about American Shipbuilding and the ships they built.

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