Superior Wisconsin sits at the western end of Lake Superior. At the end of Barkers Island in the towns harbor is a strange looking ship. It looks like an combination of freighter and submarine. Designed by Scottish born Captain Alexander McDougall whalebacks had unique rounded sides for waves to crash over. She ships cut through the waves instead of rolling over them. Forty-three ships were constructed an they were primarily used on the Great Lakes to transport grain and ore. The design fell out of favor because the rounded sides required the hatches to be smaller and harder to load and unload the ships.
The S.S. Meteor was built in Superior, Wisconsin in 1896 and was the last operating whaleback. In 1969 the ship ran aground near Marquette and was taken out of service. In 1970 the old whaleback was converted into a museum ship for visitors to explore and learn about these unique ships.
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