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Dunbar & Sullivan Dredging Company


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Equipment and vessel records

Equipment and supply management

Photographs and negatives

Project records

Miscellaneous records

Oversized records

Contact us about this collection

Dunbar & Sullivan Dredging Company, 1898-1987 and n. d. | Historical Construction Equipment Association

By Thomas Berry

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Collection Overview

Title: Dunbar & Sullivan Dredging Company, 1898-1987 and n. d.Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1898-1970

ID: 2/203/1

Primary Creator: Dunbar & Sullivan Dredging Company (1844-1987)

Extent: 6.0 Linear Feet


Group 1, Equipment and Vessel Records:


Series 1, Dredges, is filed in boxes R1 and R2. It contains records for unnamed Bucyrus Company and Bucyrus-Erie dredges arranged by serial number, followed by records for named dredges arranged by vessel name. Records for the William Denny are included with those of the Sullivan.

Series 2, Derricks and Miscellaneous Vessels, is filed in box R2. It contains records of derricks and derrick scows arranged by number or name, followed by records for conversion of Scow No. 9 to a hydraulic booster, Drill Boat No. 1, the motor boat Gossoon, the Pump-Out Barge, and miscellaneous vessels.

Series 3, McMyler-Interstate Drawings, is filed in Box R3. It contains blueprints and drawings of McMyler-Interstate cranes arranged by model number and date, followed by a folder of miscellaneous drawings also arranged by date.

Series 4, Miscellaneous Equipment Drawings, is also filed in box R3. It contains blueprints and drawings for miscellaneous equipment and components, arranged by publisher name and date.

Series 5, Equipment Proposals, is filed in box R4 and the records are arranged by proposing company name.


Group 2, Equipment and Supply Management, is filed in box R4. It contains rosters, inventories, and other records pertaining to this subject.


Group 3, Photographs, is filed in boxes R4 and R5. It is arranged by publisher. Series 1 through 3 are in box R4, the rest in R5.


Group 4, Project Records, and Group 5, Miscellaneous, are filed in Box R5. They are arranged by topic and date.


Group 6, Oversize Records, is filed as follows:


16x20 inch records are in box 16x20-64.

20x24 inch records are in box 20x24-49

Flat File records are in drawer FF9, except for the oversized photo which is in FF1.

The American Hoist & Derrick parts book is in R5, but must be laid flat.

Subjects: Air compressor, Alcoa, Allis-Chalmers, Aluminum Company of America, Amazon, American Construction Company, American Hoist & Derrick, American Manganese Steel, American Marine & Machine, AMMCO, AMSCO, Ashtabula, Atlantean, B&O, Backhoe, Batch plant, Bauer Dredging Company, Bearings, Bechtel Corporation, Bethlehem Steel, Blaw-Knox Company, Boiler, Boom, Brian Boru, Bucket dredges, Buckeye Traction Ditcher Company, Bucyrus-Erie, Bucyrus Company, Buffalo, New York, Byron Jackson Company, Cable backhoe, Caisson, Caissons, Cameron Pump, Candler & Bass, Candler Dock & Dredge, Casting pattern, Casting patterns, Caterpillar, CF&I, Chicago, Illinois, Chilene Rhue, Chippewa, Clamshell, Clamshell bucket, Cleveland, Ohio, Clyde, Clyde Iron Works, Collins, Collins & Gallucci, Collins Construction Company, Colorado Fuel & Iron, Colossus, Comanche, Control, Core drill, Corps of Engineers, Couplings, Crane, Creole, Crescent, Cromwell-Sherman-Stalter, Cutter head, Dayton-Wiley, Deck winch, Deck winches, Derrick, Derrick D-1, Derrick No. 1, Derrick scow, Derrick Scow No. 2, Derrick Scow No. 3, Detroit, Michigan, Detroit Crane Company, Deutz, Diesel engine, Diesel generator, Dipper, Dipper dredge, Dipper handle, Dipper teeth, Dough Boy, Dragline, Dragline bucket, Dravo Corporation, Dredge Erie, Dredge hoist, Dredge No. 2-235, Dredge No. 2-248, Dredge No. 2-249, Dredge No. 85, Dredge No. 99, Dredge No. 119, Dredge No. 134, Dredge No. 168, Dredge No. 179, Dredge Ohio, Dredge Sullivan, Dredge William Denny, Dredging, Drill, Drill boat, Drill boat Hurricane, Drill Boat No. 1, Drill Boat No. 3, Dry batch plant, Duluth, Minnesota, Duluth-Superior, Duluth Harbor, Duluth Marine Contracting, Dump scow, Dump truck, Dunbar & Sullivan, Dunbar II, Earthquake, East Chicago Pipeline, Easterly Sewage Treatment Works, Electro-Motive, Ellicott, Elliott Company, Empire, Empire Engineering, Enterprise, Erie, Esco, Fairbanks-Morse, Fitz-Simmons & Connell, G. L. Stuebner, Gar Wood, Gas engine, General Electric, General Motors, Generator, Gillen, Glen Canyon Dam, Goff Kirby Ready Mixed Concrete, Gomeril, Gorman-Rupp, Gossoon, Gotham, Goulds Pumps, Great Lakes Division, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, Grosse Ille, Michigan, H. S. Kerbaugh, H. T. Dunbar, Hadfield-Penfield, Halfbreed, Handy Andy, Harnischfeger, Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance, Hillman Barge & Construction, History, Hopper dredges, Hulett, Hurricane, Indicator, Industry, Ingalls Iron Works, Ingersoll-Rand, John A. Roebling's Sons, Jones & Laughlin, Kerry Gow, Kiewit, Kingsbury Machine Works, Koppers Company, Lakehead Pipe Line, Lidgerwood, Lift crane, Lillian, Link-Belt, Locomotive crane, Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Straits, Magneto, Manitowoc, Manitowoc 3900, Manitowoc 4500, Marine Construction Division, Marine derrick, Marion-Osgood, Maxim, McDowell-Wellman, McMyler-Interstate, Meckum Engineering, Merritt-Chapman & Scott, Merritt-Chapman & Whitney, Michigan Tractor & Machinery, Mobil Oil, Moorhead Machinery Company, Napoleon, National Hoisting Engine, National Iron Company, National Tube Company, Niagara, Niagara Falls, Niagara River, Nordberg, Ohio Fuelgas, Ohio Locomotive Crane, Old Hickory, Omadhaun, Operator's station, Ore unloader, Ore unloaders, Osgood Company, Outrigger, P & H, Page Engineering, Perry Nuclear Power Plant, Peter Kiewit, Peter Kiewit Sons' Company, Pettibone, Pettibone Mulliken, Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, Pile driver, Pile Driver No. 1, Pile hammer, Pipeline crossing, Pittsburgh-Conneaut Dock Company, Pocantico, Powder boats, Power Arm, Powhatan, Priestman, Priest Rapids Dam, Project, Pump-out Barge, Pyle-National, Rehandling, Revolver, River crossings, Robert Moses Power Plant, Rochester, Rochester Gas & Electric, Sachem, Samuel Gallucci & Sons, Schwarz Foundry, Scow, Scow No. 9, Severe service, Shaughraun, Sheave, Sideboom, Silencer, Slewing engine, Sodus, Spark arrestor, Speed-O-Matic, Spud, Steam pump, Steam shovel, Stiffleg derrick, Stoney Island, Superior-Lidgerwood-Mundy, Superior Bay, Superior Harbor, Superior Iron Works, Tennessee Gas Transmission, Timken, Tipperary Boy, Todd Combustion Equipment, Transit mixer, Turbo-Generator, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Underwater drilling, Underwater Eye, United States Dredge & Dock, Unloading tower, Vicon, WABCO, Walking dragline, Waukesha Motor, Wellman Engineering, Werco Steel, Westinghouse, Westinghouse Air Brake, Westinghouse Electric, Whirley, Whirley crane, Whirley No. 4, Whirley scow No. 5, Whiskey Island, Wickes Boiler, Wiley, Wiley Equipment Company, William Denny, Williams, Wilson Harbor, Wisconsin Motor, Workboat, Worthington Pump & Machinery - Worthington Corporation

Forms of Material: Bill of materials, Blueprint, Brochure, Clipping, Correspondence, Crane rating chart, Engineering notes, Equipment records, Parts book, Proposal, Publicity, Purchase order, Roster, Sales letter, Sales literature, Sales manual, Service bulletin, Service literature, Spec sheet, Typescript

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Records of the former Dunbar & Sullivan Dredging Company, documenting their vessels, equipment and operations. Also documented are vessels and/or operations of American Construction Company, Candler Dock & Dredge Company (later Candler & Bass, Inc.), Duluth-Superior Dredging Company, Empire Engineering Company, Merritt-Chapman & Whitney Corporation and the Great Lakes Division of Merritt-Chapman & Scott Corporation.


The records include: Engineering drawings and other documentation of the dredges, derricks, and specialized floating equipment; engineering drawings for cranes produced by the McMyler-Interstate Company and for miscellaneous equipment produced by a number of other manufacturers; equipment proposals; equipment rosters and inventories of equipment, supplies and property; equipment management procedures and policies; photographs of vessels, projects, facilities and personnel; clippings and other records pertaining to projects; a typescript history of the company, believed to be unpublished; publicity materials; a collection of records discussing lakeshore erosion; boiler inspection records; and miscellaneous correspondence and records.


The drawings are both flat and folded, and are arranged and described accordingly. Some drawings are for excavators such as Bucyrus 50Bs and Marion 300s that have common parts, assemblies and components with the dredges.

Biographical Note

The Dunbar & Sullivan Dredging Company was founded in 1844 in Buffalo, New York. Corporate headquarters were moved to Detroit, Michigan, and then to Cleveland, Ohio. The Detroit facility remained as a branch office and equipment yard.

Dunbar & Sullivan was actively involved in the development of the marine navigation support infrastructure in the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley. Their operations included submarine rock excavation, hydraulic and dipper dredging, land reclamation by hydraulic fill, ship channel dredging, river and harbor improvements, dock construction, pile driving, and pipeline and cable laying. They also constructed bridges and municipal sewage treatment plants.

Dunbar & Sullivan acquired a portion of the construction operations of Merritt-Chapman & Scott Corporation of New York City circa the 1960’s. Merritt-Chapman & Scott’s roots date from 1860, and their lineage includes Whitney Bros. Company of Duluth, Minnesota (not represented in this collection) and Merritt-Chapman & Whitney. American Construction Company of Cleveland, Ohio was acquired by Merritt-Chapman & Scott circa 1929-1930, which apparently operated it as a subsidiary at least until 1937, the date of the most recent American Construction photographs in the collection.

By the 1960s, Merritt-Chapman & Scott had become a large conglomerate with heavy and marine construction and marine salvage operations worldwide, most heavily concentrated in the Great Lakes and the Atlantic coast of the U.S. Other Merritt-Chapman & Scott operations included chemicals and shipbuilding in the U.S. As such major projects as the Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona, Priest Rapids Dam in Washington and the Robert Moses Power Plant and Intake at Niagara Falls, New York were completed, it was divesting itself of certain construction operations; this was due to the reduced profit margins offered by such projects under highly competitive bidding. As part of the divestiture, the Great Lakes Division, based in Cleveland, was sold to Dunbar and Sullivan in the mid-1960s.

The Duluth-Superior Dredging Company of Duluth, Minnesota, was acquired sometime after 1947, the date of the most recent record in the collection originating with Duluth-Superior.

Dunbar & Sullivan publicity materials also list acquisitions of Fitz-Simmons & Cornell Dredge & Dock Company of Chicago, Illinois, and of Whitney Bros. and American Construction, which were actually acquired by Merritt-Chapman & Scott.

Dunbar & Sullivan ceased operations in 1987, and a series of auctions were held at their facilities to dispose of their vessels and equipment.

Subject/Index Terms

Air compressor
Aluminum Company of America
American Construction Company
American Hoist & Derrick
American Manganese Steel
American Marine & Machine
Batch plant
Bauer Dredging Company
Bechtel Corporation
Bethlehem Steel
Blaw-Knox Company
Brian Boru
Bucket dredges
Buckeye Traction Ditcher Company
Bucyrus Company
Buffalo, New York
Byron Jackson Company
Cable backhoe
Cameron Pump
Candler & Bass
Candler Dock & Dredge
Casting pattern
Casting patterns
Chicago, Illinois
Chilene Rhue
Clamshell bucket
Cleveland, Ohio
Clyde Iron Works
Collins & Gallucci
Collins Construction Company
Colorado Fuel & Iron
Core drill
Corps of Engineers
Cutter head
Deck winch
Deck winches
Derrick D-1
Derrick No. 1
Derrick scow
Derrick Scow No. 2
Derrick Scow No. 3
Detroit, Michigan
Detroit Crane Company
Diesel engine
Diesel generator
Dipper dredge
Dipper handle
Dipper teeth
Dough Boy
Dragline bucket
Dravo Corporation
Dredge Erie
Dredge hoist
Dredge No. 2-235
Dredge No. 2-248
Dredge No. 2-249
Dredge No. 85
Dredge No. 99
Dredge No. 119
Dredge No. 134
Dredge No. 168
Dredge No. 179
Dredge Ohio
Dredge Sullivan
Dredge William Denny
Drill boat
Drill boat Hurricane
Drill Boat No. 1
Drill Boat No. 3
Dry batch plant
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth Harbor
Duluth Marine Contracting
Dump scow
Dump truck
Dunbar & Sullivan
Dunbar II
East Chicago Pipeline
Easterly Sewage Treatment Works
Elliott Company
Empire Engineering
Fitz-Simmons & Connell
G. L. Stuebner
Gar Wood
Gas engine
General Electric
General Motors
Glen Canyon Dam
Goff Kirby Ready Mixed Concrete
Goulds Pumps
Great Lakes Division
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock
Grosse Ille, Michigan
H. S. Kerbaugh
H. T. Dunbar
Handy Andy
Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance
Hillman Barge & Construction
Hopper dredges
Ingalls Iron Works
John A. Roebling's Sons
Jones & Laughlin
Kerry Gow
Kingsbury Machine Works
Koppers Company
Lakehead Pipe Line
Lift crane
Locomotive crane
Mackinac Bridge
Mackinac Straits
Manitowoc 3900
Manitowoc 4500
Marine Construction Division
Marine derrick
Meckum Engineering
Merritt-Chapman & Scott
Merritt-Chapman & Whitney
Michigan Tractor & Machinery
Mobil Oil
Moorhead Machinery Company
National Hoisting Engine
National Iron Company
National Tube Company
Niagara Falls
Niagara River
Ohio Fuelgas
Ohio Locomotive Crane
Old Hickory
Operator's station
Ore unloader
Ore unloaders
Osgood Company
P & H
Page Engineering
Perry Nuclear Power Plant
Peter Kiewit
Peter Kiewit Sons' Company
Pettibone Mulliken
Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
Pile driver
Pile Driver No. 1
Pile hammer
Pipeline crossing
Pittsburgh-Conneaut Dock Company
Powder boats
Power Arm
Priest Rapids Dam
Pump-out Barge
River crossings
Robert Moses Power Plant
Rochester Gas & Electric
Samuel Gallucci & Sons
Schwarz Foundry
Scow No. 9
Severe service
Slewing engine
Spark arrestor
Steam pump
Steam shovel
Stiffleg derrick
Stoney Island
Superior Bay
Superior Harbor
Superior Iron Works
Tennessee Gas Transmission
Tipperary Boy
Todd Combustion Equipment
Transit mixer
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
Underwater drilling
Underwater Eye
United States Dredge & Dock
Unloading tower
Walking dragline
Waukesha Motor
Wellman Engineering
Werco Steel
Westinghouse Air Brake
Westinghouse Electric
Whirley crane
Whirley No. 4
Whirley scow No. 5
Whiskey Island
Wickes Boiler
Wiley Equipment Company
William Denny
Wilson Harbor
Wisconsin Motor
Worthington Pump & Machinery - Worthington Corporation

Administrative Information

Repository: Historical Construction Equipment Association

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on this collection.

Physical Access Note: Many of the blueprints and engineering drawings are in rough condition and cannot be reproduced.

Acquisition Method: These records were solicited by Donald W. Frantz, Managing Director of the Historical Construction Equipment Association, from the Dunbar & Sullivan Dredging Company in 1987. The records were donated by the Whiskey Island equipment yard office at Cleveland, Ohio. An additional solicitation was attempted at their Detroit, Michigan offices at the same time, but no records were received.

Separated Materials: A considerable amount of sales and service literature was removed from this collection and placed into common files for those record types.

Related Materials: The Historical Collections of the Great Lakes at the Bowling Green State University Center for Archival Collections also has a collection of records for Dunbar & Sullivan. The finding aid for this collection is viewable online. Additional records for Merritt-Chapman & Scott Corporation are in Collection 2241. The collection contains materials from dozens of manufacturers of equipment and components, most of whom have their own collections as well. For more information please see http://www.bgsu.edu/colleges/library/hcgl/glms0003.html.

Processing Information: The initial finding aid was prepared by HCEA Archivist Thomas Berry for the Archives Administration graduate class at Bowling Green State University in 2000. It presented a proposed organizational scheme for such records in this collection as were known at the time, and was written to follow professional standards. Additional records were discovered in the files after its completion.

Finding Aid Revision History: These additional records were incorporated into the collection and the entire collection and finding aid were rearranged to comply with HCEA protocol when the collection was posted to Archon in January and February 2008.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Group:

[Group 1: Equipment and vessel records, 1898-1975 and n. d.],
[Group 2: Equipment and supply management, 1929-1989 and n. d.],
[Group 3: Photographs and negatives, 1931-1989 and n.d.],
[Group 4: Project records, 1934-1974 and n. d.],
[Group 5: Miscellaneous records, 1915-1989 and n. d.],
[Group 6: Oversized records],

Group 4: Project records, 1934-1974 and n. d.Add to your cart.
Series 1: Merritt-Chapman & Scott Corporation, 1946-1961 and n. d.Add to your cart.
Subseries 1: Estimate/Project Numbers, 1946-1957 and n. d.Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Estimate 921, c. 1946Add to your cart.
Newspaper clipping, Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) coal dock, Lorain, Ohio, dated from content.
Folder 2: Estimate 1128, 1946-1947 and n. d.Add to your cart.
Blueprint of pipeline test holes, 1946; newspaper clipping, 1947; and miscellaneous pieces of paper, evidently captions to be attached to photographs and filler for a fact sheet, n. d., Rochester Gas & Electric water intake, Rochester, New York
Folder 3: Estimate 1310/MC3801, 1953-1954Add to your cart.
Miscellaneous records, Lakehead Pipeline Extension, Lakehead Pipe Line Company Inc., consisting of: Bechtel Corporation publicity brochure, Aug 6 1953; Lakehead Pipe Line Company program, Aug 8 1953; drafts of Merritt-Chapman & Scott fact sheet, 1953; publicity brochure, c. 1953; and numerous newspaper and magazine clippings, 1953-1954. Most records discuss the crossing of the Mackinac Straits in August 1953, the deepest river crossing of a pipeline in the world at the time.
Folder 4: Estimate 1485, 1957Add to your cart.
Clipping from Cleveland Plain Dealer Pictorial Magazine, Sep 22 1957, discussing Clague water filtration plant water intake, Cleveland, Ohio
Subseries 2: Miscellaneous projects, 1947-1961Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Eastman Kodak water intake, c. 1948-1949Add to your cart.
Incomplete clipping from Excavating Engineer, date obliterated, c. 1948-1949, also discusses Davis Dam.
Folder 2: Mackinac Bridge, 1956Add to your cart.
Clippings from Contractors & Engineers, Mar 1956, and U. S. Steel News, Oct 1956. C&E clipping shows floating dry batch plant Algonquin; American Hoist & Derrick R15 Revolver marine derrick Creole; and stiffleg derrick on barge-mounted tower.
Folder 3: Texas Avenue, Milwaukee, 1961Add to your cart.
Clipping from Lock Joint Pipe Company discussing water intake, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with correspondence, shows unidentified marine derricks, and pipe being delivered by and unloaded from flatbed trailers.
Series 2: Miscellaneous, 1934-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 1: 1934Add to your cart.
Map of suggested swimming lagoon on Mitchell property, Superior, WI, origin unknown, 2nd revision; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project map, Duluth and Superior Harbor Basins and Superior Bay, Wisconsin.
Folder 2: Wilson Harbor deepening, New York, 1972Add to your cart.
Letters to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Engineer, Safety and Accident Prevention Plan and Environmental Protection Plan for Contract No. DACW49-72-B-0006; Letters to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District, company credentials, spoil disposal and field office specifications (missing) for Contract No. DACW49-72-C-0028.
Folder 3: 1974Add to your cart.
Supervisor’s Report of Safety Meeting, Perry Nuclear Power Plant site organization, Exhibit 2-2; cover letter to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Engineer for drawings WO2 and WO3, Contract No. DACW49-74-C-0037, Kent, New York.

Browse by Group:

[Group 1: Equipment and vessel records, 1898-1975 and n. d.],
[Group 2: Equipment and supply management, 1929-1989 and n. d.],
[Group 3: Photographs and negatives, 1931-1989 and n.d.],
[Group 4: Project records, 1934-1974 and n. d.],
[Group 5: Miscellaneous records, 1915-1989 and n. d.],
[Group 6: Oversized records],

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