A. D. Birdsall
A. D. Birdsall was born at Franklin, N. Y., in 1863, and received his education at Unadilla, Otsego county, that State. He learned the machinist's trade in the R. K. Teller machine shop at Unadilla, and subsequently worked for the Cleveland Ship Building Company, the Case Agricultural Works at Racine, and with Shepley & Walls, at Binghamton, N. Y. In 1882 Mr. Birdsall began life on the lakes as watchman on the steamer Frank Moffat, of Port Huron, finishing the season as wheelsman. The season of 1883 he was wheelsman of the Milton D. Ward, out of Detroit. He began the season of 1884 as mate of the side-wheel steamer Idlewild, plying between Toledo and Detroit, finishing as mate of the Sigma, a steamyacht owned by Colonel Reynolds, then president of the Wabash railroad. In 1885 Mr. Birdsall shipped as greaser of the Cambria, where he remained throughout the season. He was greaser on the Northern Light for the season of 1886, and was second engineer for the seasons of 1887-88 on the John M. Nichol and Northern King, holding a similar position on the Saginaw Valley until June, 1889, when he went to Detroit to become foreman over the shops and machinery of the Michigan Adamant Plaster Company. Here he remained until April, 1890, at which time he put in a new plant and new works for the above named company at Marquette, and became foreman there, continuing in this employ three and a half years. The winter following he was engaged in the Electric Light Works of that city. His next employment was at Marine City, where he fitted out the steamer New Baltimore, on which he remained as chief engineer for one season. During the early part of 1894 he was second engineer of the steamer Alaska, and chief of the Delaware for the remainder of the season. In 1895 he was chief engineer of the Connecting and Terminal Elevator at Buffalo, and for the season of 1896 he was chief engineer of the steamer Delaware.
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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.