Postcard from the Steamer Thomas F. Cole

This postcard depicts the Thomas F. Cole in the Duluth shipping channel on her maiden trip to Duluth. The message on the back of the card appears to be dated Sept. 1, 1908.

According to, the Thomas F. Cole was built by Great Lakes Engineering Works of Ecorse, Mich., and launched Jan. 26, 1907, for Pittsburgh Steamship Co. She entered service on May 26, 1907, departing Ecorse for Two Harbors. She arrived on May 29 for her first load of ore.

The steamer’s history is marked by a series of navigational blunders — running aground in 1910,
colliding with a barge in 1913 and slamming into a British motor vessel in 1964.

The Cole was laid up for the final time at Duluth/Superior in 1974 and sold for scrap in 1980.

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