Superships of the Great Lakes
Since the beginning of commerce on the Great Lakes, there has been a desire to build larger and more efficient ships. Beginning in the nineteenth century, shipbuilders began to increase the size of their creations as new materials and construction techniques became available. This process of innovation would continue throughout the twentieth century as improvements to the shipping channels on the Great Lakes opened up new possibilities in ship design. These efforts culminated in 1972 with the commissioning of the first thousand-foot vessel to sail on the inland seas, the Stewart J. Cort. This ship set a new benchmark in the hauling of raw materials and would be followed by twelve more ships of her class which collectively revolutionized he U.S. flagged shipping industry on the Great Lakes.