THE MICHENER STOWAGE COMPANY
IN 1908 J. H. Michener, Jr., having become interested in the problem of the best method of coaling ships, came to New York and organized The Michener Stowage Company, and worked experimentally for several years in the invention and perfecting of a trimming mechanism for trimming coal in bunkers for ship use, and also on the development of a special elevator, which was completed and is known as the Michener Portable Coal Elevator. These developments continued until 1913, when he made his first important contract with the Hamburg-American Steamship Company, then the largest line in the port of New York.
From that time until the beginning of the war The Michener Stowage Company was actively introducing its machines and methods for coal stowage, but there was a considerable lull in this development for some time owing to the conditions arising from the war.
When the Government began to take over ships the business of the company had a sharp revival, as it handled the coaling of all the German ships taken over by the Government and all
naval transports up to June 30, 1918, at which time the Government took over all the Michener elevators at Hoboken piers, Newport News and Norfolk, of which seventy-five to eighty are now operated.
The Michener method of stowage includes two devices. One of these is the Michener Automatic Elevator for elevating coal from the barges. It is suspended, singly or in series, from the side of the ship, and discharges coal at the intake port hole. The other is the Michener Trimming Mechanism, which is placed permanently in the bunkers, and, operated electrically, distributes the coal until the bunker is filled in every part. The devices, when operated in conjunction, handle a tonnage vastly greater than by any other method ever used, and the work is done with one-fourth of the men, stowing four times the amount of coal within a given amount of time.
John Hanson Michener, the president of the
company, was born in Philadelphia, June 13, 1865, the youngest son of John H. and Sarah Keyser (Gorgas) Michener. His father was for many years president of the Bank of North America, the oldest banking institution in the United States. Mr. Michener was with his father's firm from 1882 until 1901, and from 1901 until 1908 was interested in various important projects in Philadelphia and Chicago. He has made a great success in his present business, is now developing his inventions and methods in England, and expects to cover France, Belgium, Spain, and other European countries.
He is a 320 Mason, a member of the Maritime Association and the Whitehall Club of New York.
The other officers of the company are Lyon De Camp, vice-president, and J. Spencer Smith, secretary and treasurer. Both are men of ripe business experience and devote administrative ability to the compan)f's service. In these days of rapid maritime growth the saving of time is an important factor, and the Michener devices add materially to owner's profits.