On the Water

Wood 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.

ID Number:
48.000 x 6.000 in
Gift of Michigan Department of State, Michigan History Division (through Bruce J. Andrews)