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JOSEPH H. THOMPSON (U.S. 245496) Collection - GLMS 87
The one-half cubic foot JOSEPH H. THOMPSON collection was donated to the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes on November 8, 1984 by Herman W. Miller. Literary and property rights were dedicated to the public. Photocopying is permitted for research and conservation purposes.
The JOSEPH H. THOMPSON (US 245496) was launched as the MARINE ROBIN in 1944 at the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in Chester, Pennsylvania. The original vessel was built as a C-4 type cargo carrier at the dimensions of 496'2" for length, 71'7" for width and 25'6" for depth. As the MARINE ROBIN, this vessel participated in the June 6, 1944 invasion of the Normandy coast. After World War II the boat was assigned to the James River Reserve Fleet in Virginia.
In 1950 the Wisconsin-Michigan Steamship Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin purchased the MARINE ROBIN from the US Maritime Commission for service on Lake Michigan. Later that year, the Hansard Steamship Company of Cleveland, Ohio bought the vessel for inclusion in the M. A. Hanna Company fleet. At this time the name was changed to JOSEPH H. THOMPSON.
Joseph Hamilton Thompson was born at Nashville, Tennessee on October 29, 1900. Thompson was prominent in Cleveland, Ohio banking from 1921 to 1937 when he became a vice president for the M. A. Hanna Company. In 1952 Thompson became company president. Thompson's leadership developed during his career to place him at the center of mining activities from Minnesota to Labrador.
The THOMPSON was converted in 1952 to a bulk carrier at Baltimore's Maryland Dry Dock Company. A new midbody was later added that year at the Chicago yard of the American Shipbuilding Company. The new dimensions were 714'3" for length, 71'6" for width and 38'6" for depth.
The THOMPSON sailed in the Hanna fleet until 1984 when it was sold to the Upper Lakes Towing Company of Escanaba, Michigan. The THOMPSON is still (1995) in service with the Upper Lakes fleet.
During the THOMPSON's career with the Hanna fleet notable events included the rescue of six crewmen from the HENRY STEINBRENNER that sank near Isle Royale, Michigan on May 11, 1953. On December 4, 1976 the THOMPSON grounded in the St. Mary's River and sustained $107,000 in damage. Electrical power failed near Two Harbors, Minnesota on June 1, 1980. Repairs permitted the trip to be completed.
A career now over fifty years in length has taken the JOSEPH H. THOMPSON from D-Day to Duluth. The THOMPSON has proven itself to be a reliable cargo transporter for military and commercial purposes.
This one-half cubic foot collection records information in the service of the Great Lakes ore carrier JOSEPH H. THOMPSON for 1976-1982. Correspondence describes maintenance and personnel matters. Log records present details on the trips assigned to the THOMPSON during the sailing season. Machinery reports, weather observations, cargo data and mileage are frequently contained in the logs. An incident report regarding damage suffered at the South Chicago Shipyard in 1980 reflects the process of reporting accidents for company files.
Box 1, Folder 1
Series contains scattered correspondence regarding vessel operations on the JOSEPH H. THOMPSON.
Box 1, Folders 2-5
Series contains logs maintained to monitor conditions on the JOSEPH H. THOMPSON. A year end machinery and equipment maintenance log describes procedures used for monitoring engine performance throughout the sailing season of 1978. An incident report for damage occurring at the South Chicago Shipyard in 1980 describes some of the difficulties in maneuvering a large vessel in a confined area. Weather data is recorded for trips in 1981-1982. Trip sheets for the 1982 season record cargoes, destinations and trip expenses for each of the twenty-three assignments given the THOMPSON that year.
- Vessel Correspondence, 1976-1982
- Year End Report--Hull, Machinery, Equipment, 1978
- Incident Report at South Chicago Shipyard, 9/28/1980
- Weather Observations, 1981-1982
- Trip Sheets, 1982
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