So here’s an old diesel, visible at low tide. By its current habitat, I’d be accurate in saying it’s a submarine engine. But that would not be a statement about the vessel it once moved. Can anyone deduce any identification from the foto?
But here I do have an idea about the metal cage in the center of this wooden lighter. I’ll share my idea at the end of the post, but conjectures/tall tales I’ve heard include . . . a gorilla cage for the sixth boro harborman who had a large pet primate,
a lock-up for valuables that were being transshipped between ship and shore, and still others have said it was a brig. In fact, from about a year ago, here was a post in which I speculated about the purpose of just such a structure.
The most credible explanation is this: this metal cage served as a fireproof seal between the pot-bellied stove and any flammable material shipped on the barge. A foto I saw yesterday but have no copy of shows the barge and cage in better state of repair; on that foto, lockers were mounted on the bars to hold ice to keep the cargo somewhat chilled.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.