Coal from Propeller Indiana

The abundance of timber along the shores of the Great Lakes gave steamboats a ready supply of fuel. Partly burned logs from Indiana's boiler grate indicate that the boiler had been stoked just before the steamboat sank.
Pound for pound, coal provides more energy than wood. Coal was found in the vicinity of the boiler in the hold, and historical sources indicate that it was a common fuel on upbound (northerly) voyages, while wood was the principal downbound fuel.
Associated Place
Great Lakes
Physical Description
coal (overall material)
overall: 3 1/4 in; 8.255 cm
ID Number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Michigan Department of State, Michigan History Division (through Bruce J. Andrews)
related event
Expansion and Reform
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Cultures & Communities
Industry & Manufacturing
On the Water exhibit
Energy & Power
On the Water
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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