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Progress. Means of a grant for adult education an independent organization established by the Ford Foundation radio station WKRN by recording the Great Lakes pathways to progress. The Great Lakes region posts a dynamic composed by the
labors of millions of people working together in our homes and of all the divers of business activity. The beauty of nature and the utilization of natural resources bring. Glory and promising future. And most of the Great Lakes region. Has ways to progress.
Interwoven through out our composition of transportation. Its melody sounds clear in the freight trains whistle piercing the air on a busy night. And in the surging home of a thousand tracing the tempo and glistening rails fanning out of Chicago railroad capital of the world rises and falls in the surging traffic of Detroit. Part of the motor world and the flowing older ways of Cleveland Milwaukee Buffalo and the other busy cities of the region. Its courage to face the boredom Tory and whistle echoing over the crest of Lake Wales. In the punctuated with holds of ships of Toledo moving processions were the world's busiest and now it seems like. All. Things Rob from. The plane of airplane engines this is aflame with Wells from every corner of the region which provides the flow of movement tires the
composition into a coherent and powerful force is transportation the lifeline of the lakes region. It's early morning along the waterfront and Joe Rogers walks briskly down the wharf carries a small suitcase and his eyes peering anxiously forward. He sees the outline of a vessel at the dock awaiting sailing time and waiting him too. This is a new job for Joe Rogers. He is joining the Great Lakes sailing fleet. It's a good job he knows his friends from the boats have said so many times but as Joel reaches the gangplank and starts up he does not yet realize how important a job it really has to be. He does not yet appreciate the size and scope of the industry. He's about to join.
Hello is this the wrong ones. Sure is lad what's on your mind. Mining's joy Rogers. I suppose a star working here today. Here's my card. Oh yeah come on up right this way Rogers. Yes sir you sure got here early enough. Yes came up myself I'm usually about the first on deck in the morning and they tell me to be here by 5:30 sir. Yes I'm a little early. Yeah don't feel bad about that Rogers. You'll be getting up early plenty of morning from now on. Lakers are busy boat you'll have to keep up and that's all right with me sir. Now up in there is where you are but I'll show you your cycle later. Just all your gear for now in command of the galley. We'll beat and I'll take you up to see the captain. He always checks in human and stuff. Hey this looks great. Sure you'll like it here but let's get moving. We got a lot of work to do. After his interview with the Captain Rogers quickly gets into the
swing of life as a great lake sailor he begins to learn the lore of the lakes and shipboard routine first made Warner charged with the job of showing Joe his ship assumes the role of both boss and teacher remove. Joe Rogers you'll soon be a good hand on the raw ones. You're taking your place as a sailor in the Great Lakes shipping trade and following a time honored occupation in the Lakes area. You are inheriting a place and a long and admirable tradition because Great Lakes sailing is carved a history of accomplishment that makes the term freshwater sailor a term of honor symbolizing years of sailing on waters which you have often proved rougher than the oceans themselves. You're going to see amazing sights of Great Lakes transportation and industry in action. The coal loading in Toledo where 70 ton railroad cars are lifted into the air by gigantic cranes and turned
upside down to dump their coal into the holds of ships. You'll learn that vessels navigate the Detroit River at the astounding rate of one every 17 minutes day and night throughout the shipping season. And Joe you'll begin to realize the extent and size of the Great Lakes shipping business. As are big red bellies sails out into Lake Huron you're going to enjoy an adventurous anticipation and a growing pride in being a part of this vital dynamic Great Lakes sailing industry. And before you know it will sail into the St. Mary's River after crossing up Lake Huron and approach another new and thrilling sight the famous suka now there's a sight you'll never forget as a freshwater sailor. Sukkot now sue me a great American city on one side a great Canadian city on the other and between them lies the key passage of Great Lakes shipping Asuka now a
monument to man's fortitude and invaluable facility of industrial America which proudly bears the title of the world's busiest Kamau. The hundreds of ships that pass through it today tell their story of its present importance and usefulness. Here is a passage so vital that it annually carries more tonnage than the combined tonnages of the Panama so well as a man's canals and the river Rhine. And the voices of men from the past would tell a gripping story of the history behind this crucial link in the system of Great Lakes transportation. Some voices for it some against the idea of a canal at Sioux St. Marie Daniel Webster said. I have never voted one penny to bring the bleak barren and rocky shores of California one step nearer to Boston. And Henry Clay denounced the St. Mary's Canal project. Gentlemen this proposal is a work on the remote settlement United States did not know
Moon today beyond the moon is a favorite phrase on the banks of the great canal remembered fun with peculiar American pride. For there were other men equally convinced that the SU canal must be built. There was young Chiles t Harvey a third bank scales company salesman who in 1853 was at the SU recuperating. An attack of typhoid fever harvest typhoid was replaced by another and more potent influence the favor of the Lake Superior country from it grew a burning vision that he personally brought to living reality his imagination fired with the supernal idea. Harvey went to his company with an intriguing proposition that differed most radically from any of their previous operations. But Mr. Harvey this company is very profitably engaged in the manufacture and distribution of established products. We send you to the northwest for the purpose of setting up agencies for those products. Now you return with this
fantastic scheme Why it's preposterous it's not fantastic opera postures either Mr. JOHNSON. Look well I was recovering from the typhoid I used to walk along the St. Mary's River. I saw Captain Ward steamships from Detroit sail up to the Soo barrier unload their cargoes load up again and sail back down the lakes without being able to enter Lake Superior. I saw the ships from above in the same predicament. Think of it the shipping of the Great Lakes the fastest growing area in the country bottled up by a waterfall of only 20 feet. Less than 20. Harvey another question. Now the state of Michigan attempted to build a canal with the Sioux back in 1839 but that project was unsuccessful. I won't make you think you can succeed where they failed. Mr Fat banks it is true that earlier efforts for us to Canal have not succeeded but they have not failed entirely either. There was a canal built around part of the rapids on the Canadian side in 1797. Well Harvey what happened go back
for boats used for about 15 years but it was finally destroyed during the war. Eight hundred fourteen I believe. But that doesn't mean the end of the need for a passage. A great book like this takes the devotion of many men and sometimes many ages not I think we should leave the whole project for another age myself no. On the contrary we should grasp this opportunity now and make the most of it. I tell you this canal will be constructed sooner or later by someone. The region is growing fast. I tell you history is unfolding right there right now. The course of events will take care of that canal if we don't. How in heaven's name are they managing up to now. That's just it Mr. JOHNSON. McKnight unwinding a bill to scrap iron railroad or round the rapids with horse drawn cars hauling the freight from one landing to the other. They're carrying more than 300000 barrels a year that the commerce is there. Well Harvey you're a young man on the pull of the nigger you know what some of the big boys in Washington upset about theirs.
That's right. Henry Clay said the whole thing is beyond the moon. Don't forget that Congress did appropriate seven hundred fifty thousand acres of land to pay for building this canal and gave Michigan a 400 foot wide right of way through a full court Brady reservation and reclaim Daniel Webster alleged to be all great men. They are on the moon. Yes they are great men but great men are not always right sometimes they're wrong. They've proved their greatness well. Now can we prove the same for ourselves for this generation. Go on Charles. Well I was really sick when the typhoid hit me but when I recovered I took a new look around me and my eyes began to open. I visited the mining areas I saw or piling up around the mine shafts Congo gentleman rich cargo that this growing country has got to have. So the port cities growing up on the Lake Superior shore. And I saw tons of material going around the falls around the rapids overland by cart if you please.
Unloaded carded and loaded again for a single miles journey from one great lake to the other. Think of the great possibilities if we could sail the ships cargo and all from one lake to the other. Think of it I am thinking of it son. I know you say and Capa tons and tons of both. And seven hundred fifty thousand acres of government land. Sure looks like they are and boys did some work on that one. They did and it's time for us to go to work now. I know I'm young sir but I'm sure old enough to know opportunity when I see it. I hope I am not too old to see opportunity as well as you. I am ready to go along with it. Don't be hasty as to fab banks now tell me Johnson honestly what do you think about it. While I want to answer me you've been asking plenty of questions. Well I must admit it has a lot of possibilities but it's a big enterprise chorused it's a big enterprise is colossal.
But it's high time this company started an expansion program anyway. Then you know with the gentleman. Yes we're with Charles he te Fera banks and company is expanding and expanding a mighty long ways out from Vermont that beyond the moon. Harvey aged 25 was made construction agent of the canal company under contract with the commissioners appointed by the state of Michigan. All was finished June 18th 1855. It had taken 22 months and two weeks and it cost nearly a million dollars. On August 14th of the same year two masted Brigham's hand along with the American flag raising the cost slipped easily into the new lock from Lake Superior and was locked through the Sioux carrying
cargo of dust for the American people. The Columbia was sailing the first load of the north through the new canal consigned to the Cleveland cliffs iron company. Her cargo was loaded from the cap and would rest aboard until she docked and Cleveland the Columbia's voyage and fabulous era in which the supernal became a vital artery of American life and industry millions of tons of ore followed in her wake and continued to this day. Harvey's company realized a well earned profit on their enterprise. You and I had another cornerstone in the foundation of all the modern way of life. As we have today are dispensable to the American economy and the Defense of Democracy its importance is understood by the
governments concerned area defense and the Super Bowl will be protected in every possible way unceasingly for shipping on the Great Lakes must go either in peace time or during war. Here indeed is a remarkable example of transportation development in the Great Lakes Asuka mile one of the great life lines of the region. The refrain were different. Like you. Stated a powerful chugging of a laboring freight train reminds us of the railroads in the scheme of great transportation. Here is a region interlaced with thousands of miles of railroad tracks here
every day scores of huge freight trains to traverse the region the region carrying its products to parts of the continent loaded to capacity with a myriad of goods produced in the region and carries a colossal pattern of distribution and the railroad giant carries materials into the region from everywhere on the continent. The complex of Commerce which has its heart in the Great Lakes region continues its perpetual movement in the panorama of American life and brings our attention to Chicago rightfully called the real road capital of the world. The development of Chicago as a railroad center contributed to the city's growth and progress. It is a labor of money contributed to Chicago's railroad development. But one name in
particular stands out in the history of Chicago real pioneer. However I didn't talk real roads to Chicago businessman for 10 years without making much progress. Well I still say we have got every possibility of real progress in railroad development. I've been saying that for years now and I'm still not sold on the idea why we'd be cutting our own throats delay and railroads in Chicago. Contrary Mr. Gates will be opening up the greatest of golden futures for the city. We've got a future and great late shipping and our good old plank roads have fanned out here in every direction. The farmers bring their produce and on those roads and we ship bodies down bolts that brings both the farmers and the shippers and the town that spend their money. Now if we build railroads the shipments will be set in by rail. Well we get the customers then with no need for the farmers to come in anymore with railroads you'll have a lot more customers than you ever dreamed of. While you may believe that but we don't know OG and I don't
want you to think we're being unfriendly or anything like that but the merchants are pretty well agreed on this matter. We're not in favor of making Chicago a railroad town. Even most of the city's leading citizens were against railroads. Ogden did not give up. He went directly to the farmers holding open meetings and log school halls and bars. Gentlemen gentlemen I have asked you to gather here for the purpose of discussing a matter that's vital to your future in mind without wasting any words. I am here to talk about a railroad. Far in many years I've been trying to persuade the Chicago businessman the railroad facilities to bring the project into the market from your farms and to carry merchandise from Chicago stores and factories back to you. I have been able to convince them of the need to feel different if they had to take a day
off work and drive a wagon every time I wanted to sell something. I dare say they would help. You fellows know the transportation problem firsthand and I believe you can see the possibilities in railroads as a solution to that problem. Sure Mr. Ogden But what can us farmer's do about it but I meeting with groups just like this one every day all around the countryside. When I explain what I'm proposing they're generally in favor of the idea. So I'm selling stock to raise the money for. Those. When I had his $25000 subscribed he started construction work on his railroad business man still did not want to go inside the city. Nevertheless the first link of the railway was completed in November. It was 10 miles long extending to the banks of the display and the first freight train on the new railroad brought
car loads of wheat to Chicago and marked in historic turning point in the life times of the Windy City. Already there were thirty more car loads of wheat at the display waiting to be the Chicago merchants and business men quickly took a new look at the situation and realized that Ogden had prophesied truly they could sell not only to their Chicago people and visitors but also the entire northwest. This city which ten years earlier had no rail connections had launched her dust on steel rails and was becoming the rail center of the world. Transportation advantages as a key railroad city and as the Great Lakes Port Chicago assumed position on the Great Lakes pattern of progress. And eventually rose to be the largest central city of the entire Midwest. Ogden with his railroad vision continued to provide leadership in the expansion of the city and the region.
He later became the first president of the famous Union Pacific Railroad. Though Chicago is a big hub of Great Lakes railroads. In the pursuit of railroad activity other great centers developed in the Great Lakes. I grew rails everywhere in the region thousands of miles of track crisscrossed city with city and with wheat fields with mines with coal markets factories with stores with their custom. Rails. South West. One of the strongest voices in the. Moving rhythm
and take their place alongside. The familiar transportation. Train. One of the many hills in the land of the great light is heavily loaded all the driving power of the diesel engine is required for the climate. One is over the top but a little faster and faster down the opposite slope and then tackle another hill on the highway ahead and so on until the destination is right there the truck will deliver it to the waiting times and it will load for another home and this truck is only a small part of a great picture. Thousands of trucks doing their transportation duty
for short haul. Trucks deliver the goods right to the consumer's doorstep. Truck wheels move loads of package freight to one corner every cross-road rolling truck will serve industries daily and hourly transportation needs rolling truck wheels whole great tank loads of gasoline to the roadside pumps where the trucks themselves will refill their tanks and foreign American cars will quench the persistent thirst of millions of internal combustion engines. Rolling every like highways we've built boats out of places railroads. Directly from the truck basement trucks line up by the hundreds every day to work. And all of
this keeping with the traditions of transportation. Better check in with little Roger. This intercity fly 12 intercity fly 12 calling will run air traffic control over. The long run tower acknowledging that inner city and a city flights while reporting exact time of arrival 4:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Request landing instructions and weather summary over. The approach pattern for landing on Runway 4.
The planes criss cross people in a hurry. The speed of a crucial cargo to destinations an emergency need and then day after day saving. The great cities of the Great Lakes. Heard over the lakes. The fabric of singing in the life of the Great Lakes region. This is a great contribution to our high standard of living.
Within the Great Lakes region in the development of the defense of human liberty. From historic time of water travel in the region exploration and settlement to the present day is amazing achievements in this field. Transportation has been one of the most basic factors underlying the rapid advancement of the Great Lakes area. The region is fortunate in the blessings of this transportation system and the people of the right of generations which is great. The list of the great lakes of
life played in the theater. Starring in its scope inspiring in its vitality and every voice into the bright promise of a future. Orchestration changes the reach the movements very. Frequent but this theme returns again and continues throughout. All of. These other great plays. You have just heard pathways to progress a series of programmes devoted to the Great Lakes and the people who have made this region such an outstanding area. Pathways to progress is written by Alec wire directed by Dave
Pathways to progress: The Great Lakes
Lifelines of the Lakes
Producing Organization
Michigan State University
WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on the various modes of transportation that drive life and work in the Great Lakes region.
Other Description
A 13-part documentary drama about the economic impact of the Great Lakes region in the United State.
Broadcast Date
Transportation--United States--20th century.
Media type
Embed Code
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Director: Kushler, Dave
Funder: Fund for Adult Education (U.S.)
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
Researcher: Honsowetz, Duane
Writer: LaGuire, Al
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-33-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:54
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Chicago: “Pathways to progress: The Great Lakes; Lifelines of the Lakes,” 1955-10-16, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 12, 2022,
MLA: “Pathways to progress: The Great Lakes; Lifelines of the Lakes.” 1955-10-16. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 12, 2022. <>.
APA: Pathways to progress: The Great Lakes; Lifelines of the Lakes. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from