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Chrononauts here now refers to us, looking at photos from the past. This summer, in one of my Great Lakes ports, i bought first two prints, then the whole album of over 50 prints, all taken in the sixth boro between the 1930s and the 1950s. So let’s start with this one, taken in either 1948 or 1949,
I’d love to learn more about either of these photos. They are stamped on the back as Gmelin, probably the photographer.
I have more Saint Lawrence posts, but with a chrononautical weekend behind us, let me digress and report. The mood for the first ship was set by the weather; see what the mist did to my favorite downtown building–70 Pine. Click here and be treated to a slideshow of views through time of boro Manhattan’s tall observation cliffs, past present and future.
Looking eastbound up the East River, I saw her waiting, as
first one of her entourage arrived and
and then another.
The term “haze gray” was certainly demonstrated yesterday,
Even the Higgins T-boat in the distance is a whole decade closer to the present–in inception– than Brown, although yesterday all crowded into 2016.
It was a moving sight,
which I beheld,
only slightly regretting I was not aboard.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Know him? No, he’s not sent me photos. But I just learned his name, and I’ll introduce you to him after a few photos that I’ve taken.
What surprised me about the photo above and below is that two sets of markings exist.
Here’s the more standard quantification system.
The difference between the waves produced by the ship and the tug appear to be explained by structure below the waterline.
The next two photos were taken in freshwater where water clarity is substantially better than in the photos above.
So back to Mr Taylor. He was a naval architect and engineer working for the US Navy and credited as the creator of an experimental model tank used in navy ship design. According to this paper, the David Taylor Model Basin is where the bulbous bow was invented.
All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes some of you with naval architecture training respond to this.
Tony A sent these first three photos. What are they?
Here’s the answer. I like the statement . . the last one above water! I wonder what else you can say that about. Whalebacks have come and gone, except this one. Click here for a historical essay on whalebacks that makes an unexpected connection to Franklin D. Roosevelt. If your appetite is whetted, here’s another. As the the connection between this style and x-bows, click here.
Frisia Inn, which was in and out of the sixth boro a week or so ago, is not a whaleback,
but the bow shares some design features.
Many thanks to Tony for the actual whaleback photos. For a good closing story on a whaleback whose remnants lie 400 feet below the surface of the GOM, click here. That whaleback, SS City of Everett, would tow barges and its Captain Thomas Fenlon claimed it could have saved RMS Republic from sinking, offers to do so having been refused by the RMS Republic’s captain.
Here was 4. Of course, many more than seven Seas exist and work east, south, and west of the United States.
Let’s start with Irish Sea, which was called something before that . . . .
Siberian Sea, before it was called that.
Barents Sea . . . . anyone have news on her? She too had names before it became Barents, although I suspect Barents Sea will be her last name ever.
Mediterranean Sea, which originally painted green.
McKinley Sea, and I hope you get the point that all these boats had previous names.
Ross Sea, which actually shows its Thoma-Sea heritage. If you don’t know what I mean, look at the string of vessels built by Thoma-Sea just after Ross Sea was launched in February 2003. Thoma-Sea here actually makes eight seas.
All photos by Will Van Dorp.
Chugging right along from yesterday’s post . . . I’m recalling my visits in recent years to a certain junkyard not far from I-75 in Georgia . . . .
of course I Today’s post will start out right in front of the office of the captain of the port,
here’s the view of the port from across the street,
and there’s a whole lot more to see when I walk down the street.
And we end today with another shot of the 1957 Ford, next to a 1959 Buick convertible.
To put these photos into a context, watch a few minutes of this video, showing Havana streets about three generations ago, just to see that it was all the same cars. For what appears to be fairly well documented history, read this article and this one as well. For a bit more history with vintage air travel posters and maps, click here.
And unless I hear loud boos and hisses about topic, I have one more installment. Boos and hisses about misidentification–or anything else– as well as questions and up-antes are entirely welcome. I was thinking to put some of these together into a 18-month calendar for my brother, who is the REAL car nut in my life, eh?
All photos by Will Van Dorp, except this last one where he plays talent and the driver takes the photo.
Thanks again to Barrel for sending another dredge photo. These photos send me looking for background. So here is what I can figure.
Davison (records say Davidson, but I’ll go by what I see in the photo above) was built by Dravo in Wilmington DE in 1945. She was dispatched to Korea in 1951 because of the extreme tides in Inchon—average range is 29 and extreme range is 36 feet.
Again thanks, Barrel.
Click on the image below for an interactive map of this portion of the sixth boro. Right now at about the 9 o’clock position you see two small white specks. They
are the huge spherical tanks seen off Barbara McAllister‘s stern.
Consider the size of the wraparound stairs and you’ll understand why locally they’re called “gorilla’s balls.”.
So here’s what the tugboat fueling station looks like from the north bank of the KVK, and
here looking west.
Here’s looking NE across the tank farm, and
from the landslide looking eastward across Robbins Reef Light to Brooklyn.
Off the bow of Oleander–the incoming small container ship, would be the Staten Island ferry racks,
and here’s looking south across tanker Navig8 Spirit toward the salt pile. But here’s the surprise, inside the fence and between the tanks,
there’s a very old cemetery, which pre-dates the use of this land for oil.
All photos by Will Van Dorp. Many thanks to Jack Kennedy for arranging for this tour.
The warehouses on the opposite side of the river from red vessel below are the current location of Brooklyn Bridge Park. That makes the pier location a little south of piers 16 and 15. South Street Seaport Museum’s boats today. Could that be Ollie, the stick lighter currently disintegrating in Verplanck?
I’m not sure what we’re looking at here, but the Cushman identifies it as 1941. According to Paul Strubeck, it’s likely an express lighter–a category of self-propelled vessel I was not aware of–possibly operated by Lee and Simmons Lighterage.
And finally . . I wish this photo–dated September 1940-– had been framed differently. Phillip’s Foods is still around, although I’ve never eaten at any of their restaurants or if this is even the same company. Royal Clover . . . I can’t find anything about that brand. And seeing all those cartons in Jeff and the barges, today there’d be a few containers and you’d have no idea of the contents.
For another treasure trove of photos of old New York harbor, click here.
Today’s post comes out of a response I received yesterday from retired FDNY dispatcher and historian, Al Trojanowicz, who wrote, “The full photo is fire aboard SAUGUS, American Export Lines (1919) with fireboat WILLIAM F GAYNOR (1914) alongside, and a mystery vessel off to left. Appears to be similar configuration to the quarantine tug, and original print shows and what looks like a government pennant displayed with a circular or ships-wheel design. The information below is all I have found on this fire, and was the caption pasted to the back of the print. Those ladders seen on forward well deck may be accessing the hold – or from another vessel rafted on the port side.”
The caption pasted on the back reads: “10/2/1926 Fire in freighter Saugus. Photo caption READS “FIREBOATS STAGE SPECTACULAR BATTLE AND SAVE FREIGHTER!” Fireboats fought a brilliant battle, October 2nd, and saved the freighter Saugus from burning to the water’s edge in the East River, New York. The cause of the fire is unknown, but the rolls of thick black smoke issuing from the hold, attracted passing craft, and fire patrols. This photo shows the ship which was loaded mostly with cotton, removed frantically by the hands, off New York City.” (10-2-26) [Photo shows fireboat William J. Gaynor alongside Saugus. An unknown launch is rafted outboard of Gaynor, and an unknown vessel to the left.]
The caption says . . . East River, but the background to me looks like Staten Island seen from mid-Upper Bay.
So here’s a closer up of that unknown vessel. Is it flying the USPHS flag?
I’d speculate that this is a US PHS cutter. I’ve been unable to find a listing of these–like McClintic–based in New York. Also, although today’s FDNY boats have medical response equipment on board and FDNY personnel receive first responder training, back in 1926 they probably did not. And this raises another whole set of questions like, what was training like in the 1926 FDNY, what medical equipment if any was there on board FDNY vessels, and would USPHS vessels have a role in assisting during fires on the water and along the shores and docks? It ask strikes me that–given the amount of smoke emanating from the stacks of these steamers made a fire on the water look very different from one today, where all the smoke you see is from the emergency, not the routine use of fuel. Finally, I’m guessing this fire was not catastrophic consequence given that no story appears in the NYTimes archives and SS Saugus continued in service until 1946, when it as scrapped.
Al also sent along this photo of the Buffalo fireboat Cotter (1900), still in service. Here is a photo of it in 1924, probably in Buffalo. At that date it was still known by its original name, William S. Grattan. In 1928, while fighting a fire on the Buffalo River, it was heavily damaged and rebuilt.
Many thanks to Al Trojanowicz for these photos and questions. Click here and scroll for more information from Al on FDNY Marine division.
Note: This is day 13 of December, tugster’s classic/historic vessel month. If you have photos/stories to share that fit the “classic” parameters, please get in touch.