Thomas Drysdale was born in 1844 in Alloa, Scotland, where his father was engaged in the grocery business, but as he had no inclination for same he served his time as machinist in his native town. Mr. Drysdale's first sailing was done in 1868 in the Ravenscraig, a whaler from Dundee to the Davis straits, and he followed this life until 1873, when he came to the United States and settled in Detroit, Mich., going to work in the Dry Docks Engine Works. He remained there until 1875, when he went out as second engineer of the Kenemaugh, of the Ward line. In 1876 he was sent to Marshall, Mich., to take charge of the railroad shops, and there he remained two years, subsequently shipping as second engineer of the City of Detroit, on which he continued two years. The following year he spent visiting and traveling in Scotland, on his return engaging again at the Dry Docks Engine Works, where he was employed putting engines in steamboats until 1884, when he became second engineer of the steamer North West. In 1885 he occupied the position of chief engineer on the J.W. Averill, of the Ogdensburg line, and held that berth for two years, the next year working again at the Dry Docks Engine Works. In 1888 the T.W. Palmer came out and he went as chief engineer of her. In 1889 he was chief of the G.W. Moore and in 1890 he shipped as chief of the steamer Gilcher, staying on her until the fall, when he went as chief of the steamer Cambria. He served on her through the fall and the year of 1891, when he returned to shop work, which he has since followed. For the last couple of years he has held the position he now occupies, that of chief engineer for the Detroit Electric Light & Power Co.
Mr. Drysdale was married in Scotland, in 1872, to Miss Elizabeth Ingram, whose brother James is on the ocean. They have five children - John W., George, Margaret B., Mary and Thomas. Mr. Drysdale was made a Mason in Dundee in 1872 and he is also a member of the Ancient Order of United Workman.
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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.