The Dream City, Paul V. Galvin 
Digital History Collection
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  THE WHALEBACK STEAMSHIP - Among the novelties of the World's Fair was the craft which is portrayed in our engraving - the Christopher Columbus. On a cigar or torpedo-shaped hull which is three hundred and sixty-two feet long, there rise seven turrets, one of which is seen at the prow. These seven turrets support the double deck, a structure on which the passengers ride, and the waves may roll over the hull without reaching the people. The white steel cylinder or hull holds seven hundred and thirty tons of water as ballast, in nine compartments. Engines with two thousand six hundred horse-power propel the craft at a speed of twenty miles an hour. The whaleback idea had been in use for freight steamers, and is the result of the studies of Commodore Alexander MacDougal. The Columbus was built at West Superior to serve the Henry steamboat monopoly, which secured the privilege of carrying passengers by lake from Van Buren to Sixty-fourth street. The operation of this monopoly was highly beneficial, resulting in a fine viaduct and wharf at Van Buren street, a low fare, and a delightful trip. It may ben seen, however, that on a rolling sea the passenger will be seriously disturbed, and on one trip from the park to the city ninety people were ill, and fifteen of them could not be immediately removed on reaching the docks. The Columbus arrived in Chicago, May 18th, 1893, and was the greatest marine wonder of our time.
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Digital History Collection
Page created: August 26, 1998