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Here was 13.

Can you guess the origins of this freshwater vessel?

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I’d think the underwater structure here is something of a clue.

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I’ve no idea how many years ago this house was added.

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Here’s another clue, although it might be quite the distractor.

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I like the off center crane.

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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.

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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.

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And tailing . .  it looks like McAllister Girls.

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Around midday yesterday, Empire State was here (the blue icon off St George) and not quite 24 hours later,

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she’s off Montauk.

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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).

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And if you’ve forgotten what my –and many others’ focus was in midMarch, it was

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salt!

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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.

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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.

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From the same location, another of John’s photos . . .  destroyer, Great Lakes dredge, spectators,

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and Moran tugs.  Anyone add some info on the destroyer?

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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.

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Notice 120 Wall Street.  This photo was taken January 1937 and shows F/V Charles B. Ashley.

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Not much info on this next set . . . . a dredge from a century ago and

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a survey vessel.

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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 . . .

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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.

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The bridge needs no identification although the Bayonne shore in the background looks opener than it currently is.

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The number of tugs is just fabulous.

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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.

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Again, thanks much to John Skelson for sharing the mystery photos.  Now . .  please weigh in.

 

First the specifics . . . 70 Henry Street Brooklyn Heights Cinema tonight at 7 for reception with showing starting at 8.    After the show, stop by at Park Plaza Bar about .1 mile nearby.

So it’s appropriate to lead these NYC Municipal Archives photos off with tugboat Brooklyn.

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Next  in an icy North River  (?) . . . . . . Richmond.

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Launches  Bronx and

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Queens.

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Passenger steamer Little Silver, which ran between the Battery and Long Branch, NJ in the first decade of the 20th century.

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And finally . . . John Scully, a very classy Dialogue (Use the “find” feature to search) built built tug

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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.

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Some boats of this time, of course, still operate like Pegasus (1907) and Urger (1901)

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while others try to stave off time so that they might once again like New York Central No. 13 (1887).

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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.

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NYC tug Manhattan . . . built 1874!  Now where do her bones lie?

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Steamer Brighton assisted by New York Tugboat Company’s Geo. K. Kirkham.

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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.

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Thomas Willett built in 1908 by Alex Miller of Jersey City for a fortune in the amount of $335,000.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Photo by Sam Brody February 1938.  Ferry Hackensack foreground with Jack Frost Sugars over on the Edgewater, NJ side.

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Todd Shipyard, 1935-41 . .  .  Here’s a list of what was built there and an aerial view (you may have to scroll horizontally) of what it today is occupied by IKEA.

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SS Normandie . . . headed for the North River piers.

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City of Chattanooga December 1937.

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Brooklyn docks as seen from Brooklyn Heights, November 1937.  Here’s a Munson Lines flyer.

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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.

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Photographer Ralph de Sola took this shot of tug Sarah and much smaller one without a name I can find.

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Caption says SS Brennen May 1937.  But I believe the vessel passing Pier A is actually SS Bremen.  Assorted small boats here I can’t identify.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Moving back over to the other side of Manhattan, it’s SS Conte di Savoia at the pier with an unidentified steam tug to the left.  For a photo of the liner with more color, click here.

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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.

 

As I meander through my internal miasma, the blog stays noir–more accurately noir/blanc–with another set of screen shots from the NYC Municipal Archives, this time all 1940s  . . .Department of Sanitation tugs Spring Creek, Fresh Kills, and Ferry Point, docked in the East River.  Fresh Kills aka Miss Laura . ..  is she still operating out of Duluth?

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Here’s another shot of Fresh Kills aka DS 43 off the Bellevue Hospital.  Anyone know what became of Spring Creek and Ferry Point?

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Can anyone identify this 1941 tug moving coal scows eastbound into the East River off the Battery?

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Undated but in Erie Basin, it’s SS Waziristan next to a floating grain elevator.  It turns out that in early January 1942, SS Waziristan–bound from New York to Murmansk– was sunk by Nazi air and submarine attack off Bear Island, Norway, lost with all 47 crew.

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Help me out here . . . an unidentified tug docking an unidentified ship in Erie Basin in 1940.

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Meanwhile off Tottenville, here’s a fleet of US Army transports . . . mothballed from WW!?

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I believe this is a different ghost fleet in roughly the same area.  Notice the Outerbridge in the background.    Is this where all

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this debris lies today?  Actually, I took this photo and the next two just “north” of the Outerbridge in August 2010.

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All the vintage photos here are from the NYC Municipal Archives, where too many photos have lamentable scarcity of captioning.

 

Last May I traveled willingly into around a corner in time . . . enjoyed it, and posted the “fifth dimension” series that ended with this post.    So I toying with the idea of strolling into another.  Sadly, about all I know about these photos –other than that they show the sixth boro as it was more than half century ago–is the dates and some names.  I hope someone can add some information.

NYPD, 1949.  Launch is named for Patrolman/Boatswain’s Mate 2nd class Robert Steinberg, who died in March 1945 while serving in the Navy.

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1951 departing (for where?) troopship City of Keansburg.  Tug is unidentified.

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1952.  Lehigh Valley Victor.  Notice the Woolworth Building near the left margin of the photo and the Singer Building –demolished 1968– near the center.  Is Victor considered a tug?

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July 1952 . . . Carol Moran and two other tugs, near Haverstraw.

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1953.  East River  . .  . tugboat is Manhattan, floating property of the Department of Docks but I’ve found nothing else.  The building partially shown along the left is 70 Pine–I think, and the building in the center of the photo is 120 Wall.

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Photo taken by Allen Baker in April 2014 . . . last week . . . of a USS Slater,  launched and patrolling the oceans before the photos in this post were taken.  Obviously, I’d love to know more about all these vessels.

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All these photos can be found in the NYC Municipal Collections.

Oh . .  if you recognize the “corner in time”reference in the first line . . . here’s the music, one of my all time favorites.

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My job . . . Summer AND Fall 2014

Graves of Arthur Kill

Click to order your copy of Graves of Arthur Kill, by Gary Kane and Will Van Dorp. 3Fish Productions.

Seth Tane American Painting

My other blogs

My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.

Henry's Obsession

My imaginings and bowsprite's renderings of Henry Hudson's trip through the harbor 400 years ago.

Tale of Two Marlins

Blue Marlin spent 600+ hours loading tugs and barges in NYC Sixth Boro. Click on image for presentation made to NY Ship Lore and Model Club, July 25, 2011.

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