Built by American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, OH; the Great Lakes bulk carrier Armco was launched in 1953 for Oglebay Norton Co., Cleveland, OH. She was the seventh of eight "AAA" (or "Pittsburgh") class steamers built in the early 1950's. Her original dimensions were 647'00"(loa) x 70'00" x 36'00" and 20,300 tons (dwt) capacity. The Armco is powered by a Westinghouse 7,700 horsepower double reduction geared cross-compound steam turbine engine giving her a rated service speed of 15.5 miles per hour and is equipped with a bow thruster. She was lengthened 120 feet in 1974 by Fraser Shipyards, Superior, WI and was converted to a self-unloader in 1982 by Bay Shipyards, Sturgeon Bay, WI. Her 23 hatches feed into 5 holds where she is capable of carrying 25500 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 27 feet. The Armco's stern-mounted 260 foot self-unloading boom can be swung 90 degrees to port or starboard and can discharge at a rate of up to 6,000 tons per hour.