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I copied this photo from what has been a very influential book  for me, Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852–1914, compiled and annotated by W. H. Bunting.  More on that later.    I hope Mr. Bunting sees this post as a hat tip to his works, especially this book and Steamers, Schooners, Cutters, Sloops:  The Marine Photographs of N. L. Stebbins; A Day’s Work.

Bunting writes: “late 19th century Boston was a city of immigrants and contained some of the most crowded and unhealthy neighborhoods in the country.  Hot summer weather was the special curse of the slums, and during July and August the mortality rate for Boston’s children under age 5 was commonly three times the rate for the rest of the year. The Boston Floating Hospital,supported by private charity, was opened in 1894 for the purpose of providing sick children under age 6 with medical care, good food, cool breezes, and a change of scenery.  Mothers accompanied by their other (healthy) children were welcome to join the daily cruises.”

Further he writes:  “The first hospital vessel was the ex-steamer Clifford, which had to be towed about the harbor.  The hospital steamer pictured here was new in 1906 and was fully air-conditioned.  It accommodated 100 permanent patients and 150 daily patients in six wards, and contained an operating room and a laboratory specializing in milk research.”

At least 12 more things about this floating hospital can be found here.

I believe this hospital ship burned in 1927 and was not replaced.

I discovered this book and the works of Bunting first in a public library in Newburyport MA when I was living in the far northeastern part of Massachusetts.  Since then, I’ve bought and given away two copies of the book.  The first line of the preface is  “This is a book of photographs.”  He goes on to elaborate why the book is not a “photographic history of the port of Boston” in those years, or “a photographic maritime history of the port”.    Rather, he says, it “does draw together a visual maritime portrait of the port, as composed by photographers and their clients.”   Bunting draws mostly on the work of photographers Albert S. Southworth, Josiah T. Hawes, and especially, Nathaniel L. Stebbins.   In a very modest way, that too has been the goal of the tugster blog.

Click here for over 6000 photos by Stebbins.

The sixth boro had an earlier floating hospital, called  Emma Abbott, opened in 1875, and named for an opera singer who donated money for the ship.

More vessels, charted by or built for The Floating Hospital organization, can be seen here.

Thanks for your patience; this follows up the post from two days ago.  The port is Boston, the date is November 1960, and the fleet tied up at the T wharf.  Luna, pictured below, is still extant; the others . . . I believe are all gone.

Above in the distance and below, that’s Orion.

I have no ID on this gentleman in Orion‘s engine room, or

this gentleman in the wheelhouse of another era.

Allan Seymour went on to a career as a professional photographer, and he sent me these photos.

Here’s how I first saw two of the boats–including Luna–back in 1987.  Here’s a report on the historic value of Luna submitted to the Boston Landmarks Commission in March 1985.

Thanks for your guesses, both here and on FB.  For the Boston Public Library’s trove of T Wharf photos, click here.   And here is the motherlode, at least 150 photos of Boston tugboats from the Digital Commonwealth collection.

 

Now this is minimal.  If I had a use for it or lived where I could at least use it every day, I’d want to get it.

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And all you illustrators out there looking for a winsome character . . . listen to me:   if I were an illustrator, here would be my next subject.  It’s modest in size, offers negligible protection from the weather,  and sports those huge old fashioned port lights . . .  as delightful as the eyes of

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an owl or baby parrot or puppy that’ll grow huge.

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To get into the realm of fact, she’s a 1957 Gladding Hearn product and has a 1956 sibling named Brian, which is supposedly still around and I’d love to see also. She’s older relative of lots of pilot boats and small tugboats.    And emergency boats and passenger vessels.

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Anyone have any photos of Heidi and siblings back when she was a Perini?  And is this the same Perini Corporation now?

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated and on a sadder note, click here for Rick Spilman’s “old salt blog’s” tribute to Peter Stanford, who passed yesterday at age 89.  Two years ago, I was pleased to review Mr. Stanford’s book, A Dream of Tall Ships, here.

It was spring 1987 when I saw this boat first, a decade and a half after her retirement.  She and her sister Venus were a sorry sight on the bank of the Charles near the Science Museum; if you wanted a photo that screamed “forlorn,” they were that shot.  Unfortunately, I took very few photos back then.   Over the years, I knew Venus was scrapped and always wondered about Luna.   Here’s a chronology of steps toward the saving of Luna–and loss of Venus–in the first two/thirds of the 1990s.

All the photos in this post–and there are a lot of them–were taken less than a week ago over in Chelsea.

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Click here for a chronology of Luna’s life from 1997 until end of 2000, which found Luna in Boothbay, Samples Shipyard.

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I don’t think you’ll argue if I say she’s a great looking 86-year-old today.

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Talented and exacting volunteers were attending to details when I visited.

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Of course, she’ll never push again  But who imagines sending an 86-year-old out to work?

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Here’s another link with some duplicate info.  John G. Alden was the designer.

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The “lights” under the tender bring light into the engine room.

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Here’s from the engine room deck looking up . . at the gauge boards, with

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project priorities in full view throughout.

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As a result of Luna’s immersion(s), her Winton engines, exciters, and motor will likely never run again.

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Here’s a finished starboard aft crew cabin.  Note the stencil on the mattress for Boston Tow Boat.

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Those are functioning 1930-era bulbs, and yes, Bag Balm has been around since long before 1930.  My father used it in the stable.

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What!?  No Nescafe?

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Many thanks to Ben Grudinskas of Atlantic Hunter for this tour.   Here’s another shot of Atlantic Hunter arriving at last year’s Roundup.

The name on the bow of the vessel to the left says “Boston Pilot,” but that’s just a name.  The real Boston Pilot Boats are shown in this short youtube video. See more stills here.

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MV Fintry was originally built for the British Royal Navy.  Since then, she has undergone conversion to an expedition yacht, as seen here.   Click here to see the boats not chosen for this project.

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Harbor Fuels delivers fuel around the harbor with a barge pushed by a tug with a great name, Bumper.

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Now here’s an interesting story, a boat developed by a treasure hunter, who seems to be in a sea of trouble, as described by this article. 

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This is the sub that was to be used to salvage over $1 billion worth of platinum from SS Port Nicholson, if that cargo was actually on board. Sub Sea Research still has a website, here.

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Face-off . . . well actually Justice is assisting WMEC 903 Harriet Lane out of port.  That’s the Bunker Hill monument in the distance.  Justice is a Tacoma-built 5400 hp tug.

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Does anyone know whether Justice traveled to the East Coast under her own power?

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Here’s the USCG history of the name Harriet Lane.  Ms. Lane was a US First Lady who was NOT married to POTUS.  If you want more info, click here.

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Freedom is a Justice‘s slightly smaller 4400 hp cousin.  Freedom and her twin–Liberty–were both launched by Washburn & Doughty in the first half of 2003.   For photos of Liberty at work back in 2009, click here and here.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Back last November, I devoted a whole month to ports and harbors.  As I get new material, I’ll continue that series.   Here Boston’s latest fireboat passes in front of Logan’s control tower.

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Here’s her namesake.

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Massport has its own fireboat, American United.  Its predecessor–Howard W. Fitzpatrick— was the subject of several tugster posts as it made its way up to Lake Huron to become a dive boat.

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Claire looks like she was based on a hydrofoil design, but I can’t find any evidence to support that.

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From my vantage point, I could tell the controls were right up in the bow.  I’d love to get a tour of her wheelhouse.

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This Nantucket aka LV-112 moved from Oyster Bay to Boston six years ago, a transit covered by tugster here.  This Nantucket is not to be confused with WLV-612, which frequently appears in the sixth boro.

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Angus . . . good to meet you.  Somehow I expected you to look like Brangus.

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Can anyone fill in some info on the history of King Triton?  Is it a modified former government vessel?  In the background are the digesters on Deer Island.

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I believe that’s Ocean King, whom I saw in the sixth boro back in 2010.

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Here, identification thanks to Paul Strubeck are the 1958 Nancy (red), the 1954 Brandywine (green) , and an unnamed Army tug.  And over on the far left side of the pier, it’s

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the 1940 Brooklyn-built Gaspee.

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Over on the fish side of the harbor, here’s David Tonnesen’s 45′ stainless steel sculpture called Cod.  Wind spins the discs on its back, and windspeed determines the color of the eye, s0 it’s a wind speed indicator.

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Along both sides of Boston’s Fish Pier,

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boats offload their catch.

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More from the port of Boston tomorrow.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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