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ERNEST T. WEIR Collection - GLMS 38

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


This 2 cubic foot collection was donated to the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes by Robert Wright of the Hanna Mining Company on April 27, 1978. Literary and property rights are dedicated to the public. Photocopying is permitted for purposes of conservation and research.

 Vessel History

The ERNEST T. WEIR (U.S. 265246) was built at Lorain, Ohio as American Shipbuilding Company hull 869. Construction was completed in 1953. The Hanna Mining Company of Cleveland, Ohio managed the WEIR for the National Steel Corporation until March 1978 when the vessel was sold to the Oglebay Norton Company and renamed the COURTNEY BURTON.

The vessel was named for Ernest Tener Weir, chief executive officer of the National Steel Corporation when the WEIR was launched. Ernest Weir was born August 1, 1877 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His business interests led Weir to ownership of Jackson Sheet and Tin Plate Company in 1905. The company was changed to Weirton Steel Corporation in 1916. Weirton, West Virginia is named for the Weir family. The merger in 1929 of the Weirton Company with Great Lakes Steel Corporation led to the creation of the National Steel Corporation. Weir became chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors for Nation Steel before retiring. Ernest Weir died June 26, 1958.

The ERNEST T. WEIR was 690 feet in length by 70 feet in width by 37 feet in depth when launched. Ore carrying records were set in the vessel's first season. The WEIR loaded 21,270 gross tons of iron ore at Superior, Wisconsin on September 10, 1953. Larger vessels soon broke the record, but the WEIR remains an economical vessel for its owner.

On May 5, 1964 the WEIR collided with the MERCURY near the mouth of the St. Clair River and sustained severe bow damage. Repairs put the vessel back in service.

Significant modifications were made in the winter of 1975-1976 to place new tank tops on the WEIR. The Oglebay Norton Company bought the WEIR in 1978 and continues to operate this Great Lakes vessel today.

 Scope and Content

This 2 cubic foot collection contains pilot house log books from the ERNEST T. WEIR for c.1954-1969. These logs give daily accounts of the progress the WEIR made during each trip of the shipping season. Cargo data reflects what was transported and the trip information reflects to where the cargo was shipped and how much time was require for shipment. These daily details document the reality of Great Lakes transportation repeated hundreds of times each year during the shipping season by vessels such as the WEIR.

The ERNEST T. WEIR was part of the fleet operated by the M.A. Hanna Mining Company. A small series of officer lists records the vessels in the Hanna fleet and the officers assigned to them in 1958, 1968, and 1969.

Weather reports compiled in the 1968 shipping season complete the collection. A listing of the primary weather reporting stations near each of the Great Lakes is included. The barometric pressure, wind speed and direction are recorded at each station.

 Series Description


1954-1962, 1964-1969
Boxes 1-4
Arranged chronologically
Series contains pilot house log books for the ERNEST T. WEIR (U.S. 265246). These logs record daily information regarding the trips the WEIR made during the shipping season. The trip number, cargo, ports of arrival and departure, location reports throughout the trip, compass readings, engine r.p.m. date, weather conditions and general activity remarks are present in most of the logs.

1959, 1968-1969
Box 4, Folders 1-3
Arranged chronologically
Series contains listings in the M.S. Hanna fleet of vessels for officers assigned to each vessel for the shipping season. Each officer is listed with the other members of his rating group. These groups include captains; first, second and third mates; chief engineers; first, second and third assistant engineers; and stewards.

Box 4, Folder 4
Arranged geographically by regional reporting station.
Series contains weather station reports noting barometric pressure, wind direction and wind speed. Reporting stations are divided by the lake near which they are located. Some non-Great Lakes stations such as Winnipeg, Des Moines and Washington D.C. are included.


Box 1: Logs


  1. Pilot House Log, 4-1954 to 12-1954
  2. Pilot House Log, 4-1955 to 12-1955
  3. Pilot House Log, 3-1956 to 10-1956
  4. Pilot House Log, 10-1956 to 9-1957

Box 2: Logs


  1. Pilot House Log, 9-1957 to 12-1958
  2. Pilot House Log, 4-1959 to 12-1959
  3. Pilot House Log, 4-1960 to 11-1960
  4. Pilot House Log, 4-1961 to 10-1961

Box 3: Logs


  1. Pilot House Log, 10-1961 to 12-1961
  2. Pilot House Log, 4-1962 to 11-1962
  3. Pilot House Log, 4-1964 to 12-1964
  4. Pilot House Log, 4-1965 to 12-1965

Box 4: Logs, Assignment of Officers, Weather Reports


  1. Pilot House Log, 3-1966 to 12-1966
  2. Pilot House Log, 4-1967 to 12-1967
  3. Pilot House Log, 4-1968 to 12-1968
  4. Pilot House Log, 4-1969 to 12-1969


  1. Assignment of Officers Reports, 1959
  2. Assignment of Officers Reports, 1968
  3. Assignment of Officers Reports, 1969
  4. Weather Reports, 1968

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