Towboat Iron Age
The Iron Age was built for the Gray's Iron Line at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1880. James Elliott was in charge of her construction. She was equipped with an electric arc light; this was the first towboat to leave Pittsburgh with an electric headlight and the first illumination of this type seen on the upper Mississippi at Keokuk and elsewhere. She was built to replace the Iron Mountain. Her dimensions were 176 x 38 x 5.5 feet with tonnage, gross and net, 385 tons. She towed coal south from Pittsburgh.
On December 3, 1898, she got in a storm at Island 95 and lost two models, five barges and two flats, all of which contained cargo. On January 5, 1903, she caught fire at Moundsville, West Virginia due to defective wiring and lost her pilothouse. In 1905 she received a new stroke from the Iron Duke. She was dismantled at Elizabeth, Pennsylvania in April 1909.
OWNERS: Gray's Iron Line (1880-1900); River Combine (R.C.), (1900-1909).
OFFICERS & CREW: Captain Charles Leiving (master, 1880); W.B. Dunlap (clerk, 1880); Story and Marks (engineers, 1880); Armstrong and Wilson (mates, 1880); Robert McLaughlin (steward, 1880); John Moore (pilot, 1880); Jesse Mannah (pilot, 1880); Captain W.C. Gray (master, 1898); Job Whysal (pilot, 1898); Charles R. Nadal (pilot, 1898); Captain John McDavid (master, 1903); Captain Al. Eckler (master, 1904).
- The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, Monday, March 29, 1880
"The Iron Age, the new towboat of Gray's Iron Line, arrived last evening and moored at the Top Mill. She will be at the wharf this morning for the inspection of those who admire first-class steamboats. The Iron Age is commanded by Captain Chas. Leiving, and the office is in charge of Clerk W. B. Dunlap. Mr. Ed. Marks, of this city, has charge of the engine room. If our citizens want to see a model towboat let them visit the 'Age' at the wharf this morning. She will take her departure at noon."