Neel R. Zoss has researched McDougall's whaleback barges and steamers for many years and has written a number of magazine articles about the boats. The photographs for this book were gathered from libraries, museums, and historical societies throughout the Great Lakes region.
McDougall's Great Lakes Whalebacks, Wisconsin (Images of America Series)by Neel R. Zoss
During the last years of the 19th century, the Duluth Harbor, situated between the sister cities of Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, was the birthplace of a bold and innovative and decidedly odd-looking class of Great Lakes barges and steamships known as whalebacks. Capt. Alexander McDougall and his American Steel Barge Company built the curved-decked, snout-nosed
During the last years of the 19th century, the Duluth Harbor, situated between the sister cities of Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, was the birthplace of a bold and innovative and decidedly odd-looking class of Great Lakes barges and steamships known as whalebacks. Capt. Alexander McDougall and his American Steel Barge Company built the curved-decked, snout-nosed whalebacks on the shores of the harbor, first at Duluth's Rice's Point and later in Howard's Pocket at Superior. The vessels were a radical departure, in design, form, and construction,
from the standard shipbuilding concepts of the era but proved themselves more than capable as a number of the boats sailed the Great Lakes and the seaboards
of America until the 1960s. All the whalebacks are gone now--either scrapped or sunk--with one exception. After sailing the lakes for more than 70 years, the
last whaleback, the SS Meteor, returned home to Superior in 1972 and is now continuing its service as a magnificent maritime museum on Barker's Island.
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I enjoyed this pictorial of the whalebacks. An interesting look on an almost forgotten slice of Great Lakes history.
This is a excellent pictorial history of the whalebacks, both steamers and barges, as used on the Great Lakes. The focus, as in all the books in this series, is on the pictures, but the captions give a short and interesting history of each boat shown. The pictures start in the shipyards showing some of them being built and then covers them from the loading docks to sailing to losses. The author has included a short history of Alexander McDougall and his shipyards but there is very little on their design. The photographs are excellently reproduced and the author looks to have found pictures of all those built. There are no line drawings or profiles, just a lot of great pictures. (There are whaleback prints commercially available, and if you want to do your own research, Bowling Green University in Ohio I believe has the records of American Shipbuildng the company that built them).