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Here was my post two years ago, and here are some photos I took on and around the first CoWD. Peter Stanford, several decades back, organized an annual Sea Day, which I think is a better name. Squint your eyes looking at the photo below and you almost imagine a planet of water. Almost, right?
I’m happy that summer and winter brings sightseers onto the water using these vessels.
Squint again and from this perspective the boro of Manhattan looks a bit like the bow of a vessel, WTC1 being the stem post. Fireboat Harvey and the rowboat are much near New Jersey, though, than the city of NYC.
It’s the city of Hoboken water day?
It’s actually the sixth boro water day . . . with land activities on boros, islands, and cities in a neighboring state. Below, it’s Village Community Boathouse rowers past Pier A.
Meanwhile, in the midst of it all, work goes on along the front of the inimitable Manhattan skyline, Sassafras here with DoubleSkin 39.
And here as the day starts, the iconic Pegasus . . . and crew . . . reporting for duty, getting those who signed up for free tours on
the primordial boro.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, who leaves with his red passport tomorrow for the north country. Posting will happen when possible.
. . . my latest coined term . . . for which the acronym GUP lends itself is . . . gross universal product, i.e. what’s transported in vessels like these. And it really is “universal,” as evidenced by a Hong Kong vessel like this. That it is gross . . . let me say that it goes without saying.
Newtown Creek and Red Hook belong to two generations of NYCDEP vessels traveling along the East River . . . past places like this in these photos from 2012. Red Hook came to transport GUP in 2009, the latest sludge carrier until
this one –Hunts Point–came along this February . . . in a photo compliments of bowsprite
Newtown Creek was launched in 1968 . . . and still carries a lot of GUP.
North River . . . 1974. Imagine your garbage being picked up by a 1974 Oshkosh!
In case you’re wondering what prompts this post and what is new in this post, given previous ones like this and this . . . well here it is, something I hunted for a long time and finally found yesterday when the air-conditioned New York Public Library felt fantastic! Mayor La Guardia spent a grand total of $1,497,000–much of it WPA money–for three sludge carriers launched in January, February, and March 1938, Wards Island, Tallman Island, and Coney Island, resp. Wards Island and Tallman Island became barges Susan Frank and Rebecca K and Coney Island was reefed in 1987, although I can’t find where.
Below are the specs. Note that “sludge” is NOT raw GUP. I’d love to hear stories bout and see pics of these Island class DEP boats. How large were the crews and what was the work schedule?
Click on the photo below for info on what was at least part of waste disposal–built in Elizabethport 1897– prior to La Guardia’s sludge tankers.
Here from the NYC Municipal Archives is a dumping boat said to be hauled out at “East River Dry docks,” which I’m not sure the location of.
Unrelated, here’s another vessel–Pvt. Joseph F. Merrell-- built at the same location along the KVK in early 1951 and disposed of not far away after transitioning from Staten Island Merrell-class ferry to NYC prison space. Does anyone know the disposition of Don Sutherland’s photos of Merrell/Wildstein?
Here was 13.
Can you guess the origins of this freshwater vessel?
I’d think the underwater structure here is something of a clue.
I’ve no idea how many years ago this house was added.
Here’s another clue, although it might be quite the distractor.
I like the off center crane.
Check 1929 on that above clue.
This is a plan of the ferry WARD’S ISLAND, designed by Eads Johnson, and built for the New York State Department of Mental Health in 1929 by Electric Boat Co., Groton, CT (slow year for submarines?). Steel, diesel, 101 ft. x 32 ft. Retired in 1937 by construction of bridges.
Many thanks to Norman Brouwer for the above drawing and identification. Photos by Will Van Dorp, who needs to find out what propulsion engine (s) the derrick vessel has today. I’ve also not found a found of Ward’s Island prior to her conversion. Photos were taken along the Oswego Canal.
If there are eight million stories in the naked city, then there are at least 80 million perspectives, and what I love about social media is the ability to share many more of these than can otherwise be seen. Take this one . . . sent along yesterday by Jonathan Steinman. Big Allis sets the location as about a half mile north of the bridge now named for Ed Koch. And the vessel . . . the current and VI version of Empire State on the first day . . . of Summer Sea Term 2014 and not yet out of its East River home waters. Greets to all the cadets on deck enjoying the mild spring morning. Click here for the previous versions of Empire State: I II III IV V.
And tailing . . it looks like McAllister Girls.
Around midday yesterday, Empire State was here (the blue icon off St George) and not quite 24 hours later,
she’s off Montauk.
The previous photo from Jonathan–which I never shared–was this, taken in midMarch. If you’re not from the area, that’s the East River with Roosevelt Island making for a quite narrow channel. That’s Shelby (of shuttle fame) and Freddy K Miller (ever morphing) team-pushing Weeks 533 (lifter of Sully’s ditched 1549).
And if you’ve forgotten what my –and many others’ focus was in midMarch, it was
Many thanks to Jonathan for sharing these photos.
Here’s a photo I took almost four years ago of the SUNY Maritime training ship returning home from Summer Sea Term.
Bravo on the almost immediate and many correct identifications of the hulk in yesterday’s post.
Here’s an undated photo of SS Normandie in the sixth bork passing an unidentified Dalzell (?) tug.
Photo from John Skelson . . . PT boat eastbound on the KVK. Notice the onramp to the Bayonne Bridge in this and the next few photos. Here’s a “hidden NJ” blogpost about Bayonne’s ELCO shipyard. Here’s a list of vessels built there.
From the same location, another of John’s photos . . . destroyer, Great Lakes dredge, spectators,
and Moran tugs. Anyone add some info on the destroyer?
Recognize the bridge? This photo–from the New York City Archives, as are all the the rest here– is identified as taken in January 1937. Whaling City then was a fishing vessel. A vessel by that name operates today as a fast ferry.
Notice 120 Wall Street. This photo was taken January 1937 and shows F/V Charles B. Ashley.
Not much info on this next set . . . . a dredge from a century ago and
a survey vessel.
And finally . . . this may be the last of my black/white photos . . . the sign tells all about the attitude of the value of salt marshes a half century ago and before . . .
Thanks much to John Skelson for sharing his “family archives” photos, and if the fog over the sixth bork today has you staying indoors, go check out the New York City Municipal Archives online gallery.
Many thanks to John Skelson for sharing these photos . . . and I’ll leave you guessing for a day or so.
Notice the vessel westbound in the background. In the foreground, that’s Caddell’s with an Erie Lackawanna tug and a dilapidated ferry. The mystery vessel is what’s in the background.
The bridge needs no identification although the Bayonne shore in the background looks opener than it currently is.
The number of tugs is just fabulous.
And to return some color to the blog, here are Gary (right) and I sharing a beer after the show last night. Thanks to all who attended and to the crews of five interesting documentaries. I hope to see more of the festival Saturday and Sunday.
Again, thanks much to John Skelson for sharing the mystery photos. Now . . please weigh in.
So it’s appropriate to lead these NYC Municipal Archives photos off with tugboat Brooklyn.
Next in an icy North River (?) . . . . . . Richmond.
Launches Bronx and
Passenger steamer Little Silver, which ran between the Battery and Long Branch, NJ in the first decade of the 20th century.
And finally . . . John Scully, a very classy Dialogue (Use the “find” feature to search) built built tug
And the connection . . . here’s what boats of this vintage look like today in “disintegration experiments” in waters everywhere. I took these in August 2011 while Gary and I filmed Graves of Arthur Kill.
Some boats of this time, of course, still operate like Pegasus (1907) and Urger (1901)
while others try to stave off time so that they might once again like New York Central No. 13 (1887).
I’ve long subscribed to the notion that getting there should be as thrilling as arriving, so . . . let’s continue the ride backward past this 1914 post . . . to . . . 1910.
Below . . . it’s the Statue cruise of the day loading where it does today. Notice a roofed Castle Clinton–formerly fort, immigration center, music hall– in the background left.
NYC tug Manhattan . . . built 1874! Now where do her bones lie?
Steamer Brighton assisted by New York Tugboat Company’s Geo. K. Kirkham.
Front and center here is Celt (scroll through) , the yacht with many reinventions that now languishes in a creek west of Cincinnati, waiting for me . . . There’s lots of intriguing traffic in the background.
Thomas Willett built in 1908 by Alex Miller of Jersey City for a fortune in the amount of $335,000.
And finally . . . a 1911 photo of a a vessel captioned as SS Momu . . . . Tug and pier are also unidentified. The logo on the stack should help someone.
That’s it for today. I hope group sourcing can teach us more about these photos.
More from the archives . . . aerial of Pier 40 and the Holland Tunnel vent . . . photo said to be taken in 1955.
Photo said to be “three-masted schooner” in 1937. Clearly that’s not a schooner there with the GW Bridge in the background. Anyone know what sailing ship that might have been?
SS Normandie . . . headed for the North River piers.
City of Chattanooga December 1937.
Brooklyn docks as seen from Brooklyn Heights, November 1937. Here’s a Munson Lines flyer.
Here’s the schedule–sorry for all the repetition–for Wednesday evening’s documentary portion of the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, where Graves of Arthur Kill will be shown. Gary and I will hang for a while at Park Plaza Bar after the show. It may be mobbed?
I didn’t want to call this post “something different 19″ because clearly it wouldn’t be different from the previous days. A pattern has emerged, and then I realized that part of the pattern is that these photos depict some of the unidentifiable vessels lost in boneyard or ship graveyards like the one focused upon in the documentary Graves of Arthur Kill. Here they are, in their prime or at least working although forgotten.
All the photos in this post were taken during the Great Depression, by photographers who were funded through the WPA, Works Progress Administration. I am grateful this documentation happened. And my caption are based on the captioning–specific or general–accompanying the photos in the archives.
Below . . . US Gypsum tug. notice the Bayonne Bridge on the horizon near the left edge of the shot.
Photographer Ralph de Sola took this shot of tug Sarah and much smaller one without a name I can find.
I’m intrigued here by the “car float” marked “Brooklyn Jay Street Terminal . . .” shifting rail cars from right to left. Is that a McAllister tug on the far side? And is that how the Staten Island ferry terminal looked in the late 1930s and what is the building on the water left side of photo where the Coast Guard Building is now located?
Here’s an intriguing E. M. Bofinger photo dated June 1938, taken from . . . foot of Wall Street? If Bennett Air Service is at all related to Floyd Bennett and the now unused Floyd Bennett Field, it’s noteworthy that Floyd Bennett himself had died–age 37– in April 1938. Click here for many more Bofinger photos.
Another photographer of water scenes in the archives is James Suydam. Here are piers 13 through 15, the area currently just south of South Street Seaport. Prominent against the sky then was 70 Pine, just to the left of stepped back 120 Wall. The other two are 40 Wall (with antenna) and 20 Exchange, south of 120 Wall.
Here’s a photo attributed to Treistman, said to be taken from the top of Seamen’s Institute and looking over the same piers as shown in the previous photo.
Again, the context here . . . Wednesday night, come see the Graves of Arthur Kill, our documentary screened at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival on tugboats and other vessels of this era and older and what became of them.
And if you’re free the night before, check out this program on salvage sponsored by Working Harbor Committee.