For centuries, millions of tons of cargo have moved across the five Great Lakes. The lakes have always held on to the old-school ways of using single screw tugboats, steam propulsion, and incredibly talented engineers and captains who can maneuver their vessels in and out of tight quarters and winding tributaries. Although the Great Lakes are holding on to their old ways, big changes are occurring and we are at the end of an era. Original and historic images show ore boats, tugboats, barges, passenger vessels, and workboats at work on the lakes. Final chapters in the boneyard show the near and ultimate demise of these great ships at the end of an era, with newer construction techniques and technically advanced ships replacing the old-timers.
About the Author
Capt. Franz Von Riedel has spent his life persistently documenting the complex histories of the commercial vessels in the maritime industry. Upon graduation from high school, Franz spent five years as conductor on an iron ore railroad in Northern Minnesota. From 1997–2000, he restored and operated the Marine Trader, the last commercial bumboat in North America. In 2001, Franz formed the Zenith Tugboat Company, which today owns and operates seven towing vessels. He founded the Northeastern Maritime Historical Foundation in 2002, which has become one of the prime contributors to the preservation of the towing industry, in its history and the vessels themselves. Besides his time-consuming business interests centered around the maritime industry, Franz is an avid industrial photographer and has had thousands of images published throughout the United States and Europe. Franz also writes the "News from North America" feature in the bi-monthly international publication Lekko.