: Reverse reads: "Identification - Ore Docks; Location - Cleveland; Credit Line - Ohio State Dept. of Visual Education."
This photograph shows the four Huletts in Cleveland, Ohio. The dock is located in on Whiskey Island, on the coast of Lake Erie, between the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and Edgewater Park.
The Hulett automatic ore unloader was invented by George Hulett of Ohio in the late 1800s; he received a patent for his invention in 1898. The first working machine was built the following year at Conneaut Harbor in Conneaut, Ohio. It was successful, and many more were built along the Great Lakes, especially the southern shore of Lake Erie to unload boats full of taconite from the iron mines near Lake Superior. Substantial improvements were later made on the design by Samuel T. Wellman. It is these second-generation Huletts which continue to stand to this day.
The electrically operated Hulett unloader runs on two sets of parallel tracks along the face of the docks, one near the edge and one further back, with normally enough distance for four sets of railroad tracks in between. Steel towers, riding on wheeled trucks, support girders that run from front to back, perpendicular to the dock face.
Along these girders runs a carri
age which can move toward or away from the dock face. This in turn carries a large walking beam which can be raised or lowered; at the dock end of this is a vertical column with a large scoop bucket on the end. A parallel beam is mounted half-way down this column to keep the column vertical as it is raised or lowered. The machine's operator, stationed in the vertical beam above the bucket for maximum cargo visibility, could spin the beam at any angle. The scoop bucket is thus lowered into the ship's hold, closed to capture a quantity (10 tons approx.) of ore, raised, and moved back toward the dock.
The lake's Huletts were used until about 1992, when self-unloading boats were standard on the American side of the lake. Most, if not all, have since been scrapped. In 1999, only six remained, the group of four at Whiskey Island in Cleveland, Ohio the oldest. In spite of the Cleveland machines being on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, they were demolished in 2000 by the Cleveland Port Authority to enable development of the land they were located on. The Port Authority disassembled and retained two Huletts, to enable their reconstruction at another site, but the reconstruction has not yet happened. View on Ohio Memory.
: SA1039AV_B08F09_038_1 Subjects
: Lake Erie; Shipping industry; Docks--Ohio--Cleveland; Lake steamers--Great Lakes (North America)--History; Shipping--Erie, Lake; Hulett iron-ore unloaders; National Register of Historic Places Places
: Cleveland (Ohio); Cuyahoga County (Ohio)