Samuel F. Hodge & Co
One of the most extensive establishments on the lakes for the building of marine engines is that of Samuel F. Hodge & Co., located at the corner of Atwater and Rivard Streets, Detroit. The business was originally established in 1863 under the firm name of Cowie, Hodge & Co., in a building directly opposite the present location. In 1870 Mr. Hodge purchased the interest of the only remaining partner in the original firm, and continued to conduct the business alone until 1883, when a stock company was formed, under the name of Samuel F. Hodge & Co., he becoming president of the corporation, which position he retained until his death, a year later. The present officers are: President, Harry S. Hodge; superintendent, James Scholes.
When the present corporation took charge of the business the main building, including the foundry and blacksmith shop, occupied a piece of ground 90 x 425 feet in size. In 1894 a foundry 84 x 160 feet, and a machine shop 84 x 150 feet were added, so that the present buildings have a frontage on Atwater street of 240 feet with a depth of 425 feet running back toward the river. These buildings are of steel and brick, of the usual fireproof construction, and together form one of the most complete plants in the West. The machine shop has two galleries, one on either side which afford room for the small lathes, drill presses and other light tools, including ample provisions for bench work, while the large laths for turning heavy shafting and pulleys, and the great planers are placed on the main floor. This shop, as well as the foundry adjoining, is provided with a 25-ton electric crane, the two buildings being connected by a surface railroad, so that it is possible to handle the largest castings, moving them easily from the foundry floor to the lathes and planers in the machine shop. Adjoining the machine shop, and separated from it by a covered driveway, is the engine room and blacksmith shop, the second story containing the general offices, draughting room, superintendent's office, and the handsome private office of the president. In the latter is an extensive library containing text books of use in the successful conduct of such a business, statistics and reports of various kinds pertaining to the trade, drawings and blue prints of completed works, and cards showing the size, character, horse power, and destination of every engine built since the company was formed. During the time the corporation has been in business it has turned out over one hundred and twenty-five marine engines, nearly every one of which is in service on the lakes today, besides a large quantity of stationary work, together with the usual amount of repairing that ordinarily comes to such a plant. The first triple expansion engine that turned over on the lakes was built here, and placed in the Roumania October 2, 1886. Here also was built the engine for the Colgate Hoyt, the first of Capt. Alexander McDougall's whaleback steamers built at West Superior. The engine in the whaleback steamer Westmore, that attracted so much attention in Liverpool when she crossed the Atlantic, was a product of these shops. The great whaleback excursion steamer Christopher Columbus, employed at the World's Fair, received her engine from Samuel F. Hodge & Co. This is said to be the largest single engine of its class on the lakes, the diameters of the three cylinders being as follows: high pressure, 28 inches; intermediate, 42 inches; low pressure, 70 inches; stroke, 42 inches; steam pressure, 175 pounds. >From the American Blue Book of Shipping, 1897
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.