Historical Collections of the Great Lakes

HCGL Manuscripts | HCGL Databases | Reference Services | CAC Homepage

Steamer PAUL L. TIETJEN Collection - GLMS 13

Introduction | Vessel History | Scope and Contents | Series Description | Inventory


This three cubic foot collection was donated to Bowling Green State University on September 30, 1978 by Robert Weiner of Triad Salvage, Inc., in Ashtabula, Ohio. Literary and property rights are dedicated to the public. Photocopying is permitted for purposes of research and conservation.

Vessel History

The PAUL L. TIETJEN (US 203907) was built as the MATTHEW ANDREWS in 1907 at Cleveland, Ohio by the American Ship Building Company. The Kinsman Marine Transit Company of Cleveland operated the ANDREWS until 1933 when the vessel was renamed the HARRY L. FINDLAY. The name FINDLAY was used until 1965 when the renaming to PAUL L. TIETJEN occurred.

Paul Lindhorst Tietjen was born in Cleveland on July 28, 1911. Tietjen received a degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan and began a lengthy career in the ship building and marine transportation industries. Tietjen was a vice-president with the Jones and McLaughlin Steel Corporation for many years and served on the board of directors of the American Ship Building Company.

Under its third name, the TIETJEN continued as part of the Kinsman Line until being transferred to the S & E Shipping Corporation in 1975. In 1978 the TIETJEN was sold for scrapping to the Triad Salvage Company of Ashtabula, Ohio.

During its lengthy service the TIETJEN was involved in several accidents. As the FINDLAY, a collision occurred with the Greek freighter MESOLOGI at Toledo, Ohio on September 17, 1962. As the TIETJEN, severe bow damage occurred during a collision with the Canadian freighter FORT WILLIAM on August 10, 1967 near the Port Huron lightship. A serious galley fire occurred on July 24, 1972 while in the St. Clair River. In May 1974 damage occurred during a collision with the Grassy Point bridge requiring four days of repair at the Fraser Shipyard in Superior, Wisconsin. The TIETJEN, under its various names, survived these accidents and remained a productive Great Lakes vessel for 70 years.

Scope and Content

This three cubic foot collection concentrates on records of the PAUL L. TIETJEN from 1944-1981. A few items pertain to this vessel under the earlier name HARRY L. FINDLAY. The largest series of records contains logs (two cubic feet) recording information about trips made by the TIETJEN. Engine room maintenance data reflects the need of the crew to monitor engine performance. The ship's log is present for 1965-1977 to present data on cargoes, ports of call, weather, and other trip details.

Personnel files for 1965-1977 offer extensive crew information. Crew lists and individual information cards provide names and background details on the people employed on the TIETJEN. The articles signed by the officers and crew describe working conditions on a Great Lakes vessel.

Correspondence of officers assigned to the TIETJEN, and the earlier FINDLAY, discusses daily operational matters for the vessel from 1954 to 1981. Maintenance and safety issues appear frequently.

A subject file for vessel administration from 1952-1977 provides further detail on maintenance and safety issues for the vessel. Technical engine literature and safety rules also appear in these files.

A series of reports on shipboard conditions following inspections from 1967-1976 completes the collection. Maintenance, water quality, and weather conditions are covered in these reports.

Series Description


Arranged chronologically
Contains correspondence of the officers of the PAUL L. TIETJEN and general correspondence. Subject matter for this series consists of routine operational topics regarding the TIETJEN.


Personnel Records
Arranged alphabetically by type of record and then chronologically.
Contains files regarding officers and crew for the TIETJEN. Ship's articles for officers and crew state terms under which each will serve on board. Crew lists are present in scattered form for 1965-1977. Information cards on crew members provide background details.


Arranged alphabetically by type of report and then chronologically
Contains reports monitoring conditions on the TIETJEN assessed through inspections. Maintenance issues, water quality and weather are covered.


Subject Files
Arranged alphabetically by subject and then chronologically
Contains files on diverse aspects of operating the TIETJEN. Maintenance and safety files are accompanied by instructions for crew members. Arrangement is alphabetical by subject and chronological within each subject.


1944, 1963-1981
Arranged alphabetically by type of log and then chronologically
Contains logs maintained on the TIETJEN during its trips on the Great Lakes. Maintenance records for the engine room document the functions of the engine and its performance on each trip. Fuel consumption is monitored in the engine logs. The official ship's logs are present for 1944, 1965-1977 and document each trip the vessel made. This log records ports of arrival and departure, beginning and conclusion dates for trips and types of cargo. Details of each trip from ports of call and weather to drills held are noted.


Box 1


  1. Correspondence, Captain, 1954, 1967, 1970-1977
  2. Correspondence, Chief Engineer, 1958, 1969-1977
  3. Correspondence, Officers, 1970-1977
  4. Correspondence, General, 1969-1977
  5. Correspondence, General, 1978-1981
  6. Crew List, 1965, 1968, 1970-1977
  7. Crew Members Information Cards, ca. 1970-1977
  8. Crew Tally, 1969-1974
  9. Kinsman Line Ships and Officers Lists, 1977
  10. Mustering Bill, n.d.
  11. Officers' Articles, 1972-1977
  12. Outward Foreign Manifest (Master's Oath), May 3, 1974
  13. Payroll Checklist, April-June 1977
  14. Personnel Changes, 1974
  15. Seamen Shipped or Discharged, 1976-1977
  16. Unlicensed Crew's articles, 1977
  17. Wage schedules of seamen, 1974-1977
  18. Watchman--routine duty, n.d.

Box 2


  1. Ace Vessel Operation Report, 1967, 1974
  2. Inspection Reports, 1971-1972, 1976
  3. Morning Wind Report, April-July, year unknown
  4. Service Reports, January-June 1970
  5. Vessel Report, August 12, 1971
  6. Water Analysis Report, 1970, 1972
  7. Certificates: Load Line & radiotelephony, 1972, 1976
  8. Chief Engineer's Instructions, 1970, 1972, 1977
  9. Fuel Inventory, 1972
  10. Instructions for Operation and Maintenance of Babcock & Wilcox Marine Boilers, 1954
  11. Layup instructions, 1972-1977
  12. Lube charts, 1972
  13. Machinery data, 1953-1972
  14. Masters' Spring instructions, 1976
  15. Memorandum of Grain Survey, 1976
  16. Notice of Mortgage, n.d.
  17. Pollution, 19780, 1973-1974
  18. Records of Entry, 1977
  19. Safety Rules, 1976-1977
  20. Skinner Engine Company Marine Uniflow Steam Engine, 1952
  21. Wave Height forecasts, n.d.
  22. Winter work completed, 1974, 1976

Box 3: Logs


  1. Deviation tables, 1976-1977
  2. Engine Room Log, November-December 1976, April-July 1977
  3. Engine Room Workbooks, 1972-1977
  4. Radar Operations and Maintenance log, 1963
  5. Radiotelephone Log, 1971, 1976-1977
  6. Ships log for the TIETJEN as the HARRY L. FINDLAY, 1944, 1966
  7. Water log book, 1977
  8. Weather log book, 1980-1981

Box 4: Ships Logs


  1. 1965
  2. 1966
  3. 1968
  4. 1969
  5. 1970
  6. 1971
  7. 1972
  8. 1976
  9. 1977

Oversize Volumes: Engine Logs

  1. 1966, 1970
  2. 1968
  3. 1970, 1972
  4. 1971
  5. 1977
  6. Engine Room Log, 1965
  7. Engine Room Log, 1970

HCGL Manuscript Checklist | Vessel Design | Vessel Logs