David Bell, Buffalo NY

Most recent update: October 15, 2016.


David Bell, an immigrant from Scotland, was an engine builder first and a shipbuilder second.  He started in business in 1845, as Bell & McNish, later becoming Bell's Steam Engine Works.  In 1858 he started building ships under his own name and in 1862 built the Merchant, the first coal-powered, propeller-driven, iron-hulled ship to be built on the Great Lakes.  The company's plant was on the east side of the Evans Ship Canal (which was where the north-south stretch of Erie Street is now), roughly where the western side of the Marine Drive Apartments complex is today: see the site from the air on Google here.  If anyone can add to the table below, please e-mail me at timcolton@aol.com

Hull # O.N. Original Name Original Owner Vessel Type GT Built Disposition
4991 City of Buffalo   Cargo Ship 149 1859 Barge 1871, no record after 1893
19684 Philo S. Bemis   Tug 29 1859 Abandoned 1879
16332 Merchant Anchor Line Cargo Ship 721 1862 Wrecked 1875
10664 Glen Iris   Cargo Ship 119 1863 Later Mary O'Riorden, abandoned 1951
6147 Dexter   Tug 36 1866 Abandoned 1911
na Metropolitan City of New York Police Boat 149 1867 Abandoned 1867
18092 Nellie Cotton   Tug 37 1867 Abandoned 1929
20142 Philadelphia Erie & Western Tptn. Cargo Ship 1,463 1868 In collision and sank 1893
1734 Ariadne   Tug 34 1868  
100042 Ivanhoe   Sidewheeler 282 1869 Burned 1899
Douglas   Tug   1870  
90701 Mary Bell   Yacht 34 1870 No record after 1907
na Albert Gallatin U.S.R.C.S. Cutter 250 1871 Later Gallatin, sank 1892
202921 Alexander Hamilton U.S.R.C.S. Cutter 250 1871 Later Hamilton, sold 1906 as Pilot, later Keechi
8882 Eliza Williams   Tug 37 1872  
125149 Cayuga   Tug 27 1872 Later S.S. Mac 1941, abandoned 1963
205203 George S. Boutwell U.S.R.C.S. Cutter 151 1873 Later Boutwell, sold 1907 as E. T. Chamberlin
90792 M. D. Carrington   Tug 64 1875 Scrapped 1949
145074 Titania   Yacht 73 1875 In collision 1908
110275 Rosaline   Yacht 28 1876 Later Volanta
G. W. Gardner   Yacht   1876  
Esperanza   Yacht   1876  
105784 Arundell Cole & Holt Cargo Ship 306 1878 Burnt 1911, rebuilt as barge 1916, cargo ship Brewster 1920, in collision and sank 1922
Flora   Yacht   1879  
Vanderbilt   Yacht   1879  
Angelique   Yacht 27 1880  
106025 A. W. Colton M. T. Huntley Tug 92 1881 Abandoned 1945
100302 Ina   Yacht 14 1881 Later Service 1919, abandoned 1929
25243 Uarda Dow and Wesson Yacht 16 1881 Abandoned 1921
110536 Robert H. Cooke   Tug 157 1882  
207088 Sand Beach U.S. Army CoE Tug 10 1885 Later Lorene 1909, foundered 1945
145439 Theseus   Yacht 54 1886  
Seneca Chief   Yacht   1887  
81211 Waller   Yacht 56 1887  
200702 City of Buffalo City of Buffalo  Fire Tug 133 1887 George R. Potter 1903, sold 1932, Liberty 1940, deleted in 1980s
150462 Phil Sheridan   Tug 35 1888 Scrapped 1923
Florence Rice     19 1889  
116305 Spalpeen   Tug 29 1889  
161014 Keystone   Tug 95 1891 Abandoned 1033
150524 Pilgrim   Cargo Ship 261 1891 Burned 1937
150536 Paddy Miles   Tug 33 1891  
Neversink   Yacht   1892  
200703 John M. Hutchinson John M. Hutchinson Fire Tug 90 1893 Later Drag 1934, scrapped 1951
252202 Calumet U.S.R.C.S. Tug 170 1894 Later Tioga 1934, WYT 74 1942, sold 1947 as John F. Drews, William J. Dugan 1967, Spany Pane
William McKinley   Yacht   1894  
161077 Katharine T. Wilbur   Tug 54 1895 Later Cortland 1903, to US Army 1916, sold 1919, Courageous 1973, deleted 1977
Primrose   Yacht   1895  
Sandusky   Yacht   1896  
107227 Alert George Moon Fish Tug 102 1896 Later Douglas M (Canada) 1917, Black Hawk 1980
96399 Harvey D. Goulder L. P. & J. A. Smith Tug 156 1896 Later A.T.S. Tug No. 7 1920, Frederick T. Kellers 1922, no record after 1960
81738 W. J. Warwick Joseph B. Blake Tug 21 1901 Later Susanne S
117072 Shaun Rhue   Tug 79 1901  
127678 Capt. Hemens   Passenger 34 1902 Later A. B. Sutherland (Canada O.N. 130330), scrapped 1957