Phillip J. Stager is a retired US Coast Guard officer and naval engineer now residing in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is a nationally accredited philatelic judge and has assembled award-winning exhibits on a wide variety of subjects, including Zeppelin mail, sexually transmitted diseases, and palm trees of several species. He has also prepared award-winning picture postcard exhibits on royal palms, the waterfront of Cleveland, Ohio, and the subject of this book, the iron ore trade on the Great Lakes. He is also an accomplished ship model builder and self-described "palm nut" with a tropical garden full of palms and other plants.

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