The Salvager: The Life of Captain Tom Reid on the Great Lakes
The Salvager is a narrative history of Great Lakes shipping disasters of 1880–1950 and the life story of Captain Thomas Reid. Using the records of the Reid Wrecking and Towing Company as well as Reid’s personal letters, here are the stories of the maritime disasters and wrecking adventures that followed, and of those waiting on shore for their loved ones.
First published in 1958,The Salvageris both a narrative history of Great Lakes shipping disasters of 1880–1950 and the life story of Captain Thomas Reid, who operated one of the region’s largest salvaging companies during that era.
The treacherous shoals, unpredictable storms, and sub-zero temperatures of the Great Lakes have always posed special hazards to mariners—particularly before the advent of modern navigational technologies—and offered ample opportunity for an enterprising sailor to build a salvage business up from nothing. Designing much of his equipment himself and honing a keen eye for the risks and rewards of various catastrophes, Captain Reid rose from humble beginnings and developed salvaging into a science. Using the actual records of the Reid Wrecking and Towing Company as well as Reid’s personal logs and letters, Mary Frances Doner deftly tells the stories not only of the maritime disasters and the wrecking adventures that followed, but also of those waiting back on shore for their loved ones to return.
University of Minnesota Press, Paperback, 392 pages.
About the Author:
Mary Frances Doner (1893–1985) was the author of more than twenty-eight works of fiction and nonfiction, most of which were set on or around the Great Lakes.