Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Touring the William A. Irvin

A couple of years ago I joined the Lake Superior Maritime Museum because they do a spring drawing to get a trip on a laker.  One of the benefits of being a member is that I get a free tour on the William A. Irvin.  Since I had some time to kill, I decided to do that today.
 The William A. Irvin was a ship built for the US Steel Company by the American Steamship Company in Lorain, OH in 1938.  She was 610 feet long and could carry around 15,000 tons of cargo.  She served on the lakes until she was retired in 1978.
 She was named after the 4th President of the US Steel Company.
 A shot of the bow.  Even though is smaller than most modern lakers, she still looks pretty impressive from this angle.
 Looking at an oblique angle.
 Looking towards the pilothouse.  Because she was the first ship equipped with a number of improvements, she served as the flagship of US Steel for a number of years.  One of the additional decks on the pilothouse was for guest quarters for visitors on the ship.
 Looking back towards the stack.  It is nice to see that the descendents of the US Steel fleet still uses the same stack colors.
 The Irvin was the first ship equipped with steam turbines.  This left more space in the engine room.  She was also the first ship equipped with powered steering.
 A shot of her gages.  If you look in the lower left of the pictures, you see the brass rails.  Because she served as a flag ship, she was nicer equipped than normal lakers.
 The Engine room chadbourne.  This would receive orders from the Captain for speed.  The Engineer would make the adjustments to go that speed.
 One of the crew quarters.
 The officers mess room.
 The galley.
 The crew's mess.  While it's not as nice as the officer's mess, it seems nicer than the eating spaces for the crews of warships.
 another shot of the pilothouse.
 Looking back towards the stack again.
 The guest mess room.  As you can see, this was very well appointed.
 The guest quarters.
 Another shot of the guest quarters.
 The Captain's office.  One of the captains on this ship had the last name of Kidd.  As a joke, he decided to fly a Jolly Roger while going through the Locks.  Evidently, they didn't find it as funny as he did.
 The chadbourne in the pilothouse.
 The steering wheels.  The wheel on the left is for the powered steering.  The one on the right is used for normal steering.  Evidently, they would use that in rivers because they liked having the touch.
 The cargo hold.  During Halloween, they call this haunted ship and they still had the decorations up.  You still get an idea of just how massive these cargo holds are.
Just some examples of the cargos carried by this vessel.

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