Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Take A Ride Aboard “The 7-11 Of The Great Lakes”

You can’t get a shriveled-up Big Bite hot dog on the S.S. J.W. Westcott. But the boat’s reputation for 24/7 service involving just about anything you might want on the Detroit River earned it the prestigious nickname: The 7-11 Of The Great Lakes.

The world’s only floating post office, the steamer carried some one million pieces of mail in the 1950’s, many of them SWAK (or “sealed with a kiss,” for those born after a time when an emoji-laden nude meant love). They delivered coffee, cigarettes, toothpaste, televisions and toilet paper, according to Atlas Obscura — and the occasional pizza and homemade Ramadan meal to soldiers stuck on the water for months at a stretch.

But it’s not all Seamless for Steam Boats: Over the last 142 years, they’ve pulled drunk skinny dippers and bridge-jumpers out of the water. You know your night’s taken a weird turn if you wake up on a historic steam boat in the Detroit River.
[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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