|Entered service in 1904 for the Bransford Transit Company (Cleveland, Ohio). The fleet was merged into the Acme Transit Company in 1911 and then sold to the Pittsburg Steamship Company (Cleveland, Ohio) on December 31, 2015. Shortly after, the ship was renamed E.C. Collins.|
In 1945 the ship was sold to Kinsman Transit Company (Cleveland, Ohio). It was sold again in 1956 to Huron Portland Cement Company (Detroit, Michigan).
After being laid up from 1956 to 1958, the ship was converted to a self-unloading cement carrier by Christy Corporation (Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin), with the work completed in 1959. The ship re-entered service as J.B. Ford.
In 1966 National Gypsum Company purchased the fleet and operated as the Huron Cement Division. The ship was purchased by private investors and leased to Inland Lakes Management (Alpena, Michigan).
Laid up at the LaFarge cement depot on November 15, 1985 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and used as a cement storage barge. Then towed to South Chicago in April, 1989 and then to Superior, Wisconsin in June 2001 for cement storage (now owned by Lafarge). The ship was replaced by the J.A.W. Iglehart, on its retirement in 2006.
Following an unsuccessful attempt to save the vessel, by the Great Lakes Steamship Society (GLSS), the ship was moved to Duluth, Minnesota on October 8, 2015, for scrapping by the Azcon Corporation. The GLSS was able to recover artifacts and significant items from the vessel, including an attempt to save the forward cabins.
At the time of its scrapping, the J.B. Ford was the oldest intact lake freighter still afloat. As of June 2018, the ship remains at the Azcon Metals scrap dock.