Pringle Barge Line

The Pringle history begins when Captain Robert C. Pringle and his Detroit-based Pringle Barge Line bought the workboat Superior in 1917. The workboat was renamed to Walter R. Pringle, and began working as a tug for barges on the St. Clair River. The Pringle Barge Line operated out of Toledo, OH, and Detroit, MI, during a significant time in American industry before, during, and after World War II. The company became a subsidiary of Oglebay-Norton & Co. in 1943. In 1975, Oglebay-Norton spun that subsidiary off to form the Pringle Transit Company operating the William R. Roesch and Paul Thayer. On their funnels, these ships bear the old Pringle insignia of a P-Ring-Gull in white on a maroon background. Pringle was symbolized by the flag that you see here—a five foot long swallowtail shape with a “P” in the center. Along with a simple color scheme with red, white, and blue being utilized which is consistent with multiple other flags in this collection.

We are unsure if this flag was flown for the Pringle Barge Line or the Pringle Transit Company. If you know more information and want to help solve this mystery, contact us at

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