Postcard from Tugboats Record and Sinclair

Icebreaking in the Duluth Harbor is expected to start this week, with the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Spar clearing the way for the start of another shipping season.

The postcard above is from the early 1900s and shows the tugboats Record and Sinclair breaking ice in the Duluth Harbor.

Record, in the middle of the image, was built in 1884 and scrapped in 1975. The James R. Sinclair, at left, was built in 1907. Its “final disposition is unknown,” according to, but the website notes it was renamed the John Roen Jr. in 1938, and again renamed in 1971 as the Apollo.

The illustration on the card is clearly based on the photo below, shot by Hugh McKenzie.

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