56474 LAUNCH OF THE GREAT LAKES CARRIER S.S. EDMUND FITZGERALD JUNE 7, 1958

This never-seen-before silent, color 8mm home movie film was shot of the launch of the doomed S.S.EDMUND FITZGERALD on June 7, 1958. The film shows the crowds of spectators at Great Lakes Engineering Works. More than 15,000 people attended Fitzgerald’s christening and launch ceremony on June 7, 1958. But the event was plagued by misfortunes: When Elizabeth Fitzgerald, wife of Edmund Fitzgerald, tried to christen the ship by smashing a champagne bottle over the bow, it took her three attempts to break it. As you can see in the film, a delay of 36 minutes followed while the shipyard crew struggled to release the keel blocks. Upon sideways launch, the ship created a large wave that “doused” the spectators and then crashed into a pier before righting herself. One man watching the launching had a heart attack and later died. Other witnesses later said they swore the ship was “trying to climb right out of the water”.

SS Edmund Fitzgerald was an American Great Lakes freighter that sank in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew of 29. When launched on June 7, 1958, she was the largest ship on North America’s Great Lakes, and she remains the largest to have sunk there.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com

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