Page 28

IV. 175,000,000 TONS ORE

The busy hum of operations at the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Cleveland docks rose to a crescendo in 1942 when the demand for ore by the Arsenal of Democracy soared to unheard-of heights. Contrasted with the low ore movement of 3,567,985 tons in the depression year of 1932-smallest since the 2,468,446 tons in 1885-the year 1942 saw the lake fleet bring down an all-time record total of 92,085,324 tons. Of this amount, the C & P Huletts unloaded 8,7444,139 tons from 1,081 vessels. The storage bridge handled 1,137,408 tons, including 775,243 tons placed in storage and 362,165 reloaded into cars.

On July 1, 1946, the steamer Lehigh, 15,136 gross tons, was unloaded in three hours and 40 minutes, the record

Page 29

for this plant. Working at the rate of 4,127 tons an hour, against the machines’ rated capacity of 4,000 tons, the Huletts filled 229 cars. Still another record for the Cleveland & Pittsburgh docks was set on July 8, 1946, when during a 24-hour period 970 care were loaded with 61,529 gross tons of ore for shipment to inland steel plants.

Through the years, the Pennsylvania Railroad’s C & P Division has operated other docks to handle lake shipments of merchandise freight. Although this traffic is important, the Hulett unloaders and the coaling machine on Dock 24 are the chief contributions of the docks to the industrial might of Cleveland and the nation. Since the day in 1852 when six barrels of ore arrived in Cleveland, approximately 2,200,000,000 tons have come to Lake Erie ports from the tremendous fields at the head of the lakes. Of this amount, the C & P docks have handled more than 175,000,000 tons.

Perhaps it is superfluous to refer to the importance of this heavy reddish substance. It is no less than the prime ingredient in our economic life. In one form or another, it

Page 30

goes into the farm implements which raise our daily bread; the factories and buildings where we work; the railroads, motor cars, ships, and bridges, which link us with our neighbors; and the countless machines and their products which are the fruits of our civilization. It is the stuff which we fired at the armies of the Central Powers in 1917 and at the Germans and the Japanese in the 1940’s. In a thousand ways we depend upon its regular flow from mine to vessel, from vessel to rail, from rail to mill, from mill to user.

In this broad picture, the Cleveland docks will continue to perform their accustomed function. With the City of Cleveland on its 150th anniversary and with the Pennsylvania Railroad on its 100th, the docks look toward the past as only a beginning. The best years of service are yet to come.

Page 31

Steamer FRED G. HARTWELL under the Huletts. In 1945 and also in other years, this vessel held the season record for the largest total tonnage of ore, coal, and grain carried through the Soo.

 

PREVIOUS CHAPTER TABLE OF CONTENTS