Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





History, Canadian.


Kulisek, L.




This thesis examines the politics and economics of twentieth century marine losses in the St. Clair River. Vital to Great Lakes commercial shipping, the 36-mile-long, narrow bottleneck of the St. Clair River, which forms part of the international boundary between Canada and the United States close to the epicentre of the Great Lakes waterway system, has played a major role in twentieth century marine history. A necessary, natural link between the three northwestern and the two southeastern Great Lakes, the St. Clair River has long been the scourge of vessel owners and ships' captains; skilled, experienced navigators have dreaded passing through these fast-flowing waters since the time that LaSalle's Griffon first sailed upbound here in 1679. The economic reality of shipwreck removal to maintain safe and open navigation is analyzed from the point of view of marine insurance and the evolution of the salvage laws; frequently, government agencies lacked co-operation from a wrecked vessel's owner or the insurance underwriter. The internationality of the St. Clair River, on occasion, complicated the realization of a swift remedy. For a variety of reasons (collisions, burnings, founderings, abandonments), over 100 vessels sank in the St. Clair River in this century alone. An overall survey of the commercial shipping losses on the St. Clair River between 1900 and 1972 is made, while four of the more significant losses involve detailed description and analysis. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of History, Philosophy, and Political Science. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1994 .K63. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 33-04, page: 1129. Adviser: Larry Kulisek. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1994.