By George Wharton
Great Lakes Fleet Page Vessel Feature -- Myron C. Taylor
Built by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge (Detroit), MI; the Myron C. Taylor was launched in 1929 for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company (the private fleet of the U.S. Steel Corp.). Constructed as a Great Lakes traditional styled straight decker, the Taylor was 1 of 3 new vessels joining the Pittsburgh fleet that year; the other 2 being the William G. Clyde (now the Calcite II) and the Horace Johnson (scrapped 1984). The Myron C. Taylor sailed on her maiden voyage from Detroit, MI to Duluth, MN on August 27, 1929. The vessel's namesake is Mr. Myron Charles Taylor; a former Chairman of the Finance Committee of the U.S. Steel Corp. Mr. Taylor died May 6, 1959.
Her power was initially obtained from a 2,200 horsepower triple expansion steam engine with 3 coal-fired Scotch boilers. The Taylor was repowered in 1968 with a Nordberg FS-1316-H5C diesel engine rated at 4336 installed horspower. A bow thruster was installed in 1988.
The Myron C. Taylor sailed for the Pittsburgh fleet until the spring of 1956. Due to an increase in limestone demand, she was transferred to the Bradley Transportation Co. fleet out of Rogers City, MI (managed by the Pittsburgh fleet). Also transferred to the Bradley fleet at this time was the steamer A.F.Harvey. On June 1, 1956; the Taylor entered the Christy Corp. shipyard in Sturgeon Bay, WI; emerging 4 months and 11 days later as a self-unloader. This was the fastest self-unloader conversion on record. Also included were the lengthening of the forward cabins and aft deckhouse.
The Myron C. Taylor has 16 hatches feeding into 4 compartments where she is capable of carrying 12,450 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 22 feet 2 inches. Her self-unloading system as installed consists of pneumatically controlled gates opening to 2 four-foot wide rubber conveyor belts feeding a forward mounted bucket elevator leading up to a hopper. This hopper feeds a bow-mounted 250-foot discharge boom that can be swung 110 degrees to port or starboard.
The Taylor rejoined the Pittsburgh fleet on July 1, 1967 when the U.S Steel Corp. decided to merge the Bradley fleet into its Pittsburgh fleet. This combined fleet became a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Steel Corp. in 1981 thus becoming a common carrier. At this time, the fleet was renamed USS Great Lakes Fleet.
Now a veteran of the lakes, the Taylor remains an active, versatile member of USS Great Lakes Fleet in the limestone, coal, and aggregates trades. Her smaller size allows her to serve customers in many of the smaller ports along the Great Lakes that are not accessible to the larger vessels.
Overall dimensions Length 603'09" Beam 60'0" Depth 32'00" Capacity (tons) 12,450 Diesel engine horsepower 4336 Self-unloading boom 250'