Iron Ore Transport on the Great Lakes

The Development of a Delivery System to Feed American Industry


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About the Book

The availability of inexpensive steel, so crucial to the United States’ emergence as a leading industrial power in the late nineteenth century, relied upon the rise of an ore transport system on the Great Lakes that would feed American industry as a whole and come to alter the face of the region. This detailed history recounts innovations in shipping, the improvement of channels and harbors, the creation of locks, technical advances in loading and unloading equipment, and the ability to attract capital and government support to fund the various projects. When government support was lacking, reinterpretations of the Constitution were introduced to justify federal involvement. These changes, which often functioned symbiotically, represent one of the key untold stories in the spectacular rise of American industry.

About the Author(s)

W. Bruce Bowlus is an associate professor of history at Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio. He has written previously on Great Lakes history and has served as a contributor for the PBS documentary “Lake Erie: Ohio’s Great Lake.”

Bibliographic Details

W. Bruce Bowlus
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 27 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3326-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8655-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1. A “sterile region on the shores of Lake Superior” (Beginnings)      13

2. “The right to demand equal and exact justice” (1845–1865)      53

3. “The War changed everything” (1865–1880)      90

4. “The ore fleet will have to be increased largely to get all the ore” (1880–1890)      118

5. “The wildest expectations of one year seem absurdly tame the next” (1890–1908)      154

6. “A swan song that will be a melancholy dirge” (After 1908)      190

Chapter Notes      209

Bibliography      241

Index      257

Book Reviews & Awards

“a fine example of an academic monograph…well-researched and organized…the author should be commended for this very solid contribution to the growing corpus of Great Lakes history”—Sea History; “documentation is thorough…well-selected illustrations…solid…good read…comprehensive”—Michigan Historical Review; “a good read…valuable”—Technology and Culture.