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I’ve often posted photos of ROROs and PCTCs, but here’s the old school.  Here’s a Ford ship loading Ford cars from the Chester PA plant.  MV Lake Benbow was one of the first six Ford-owned vessels transporting Ford products around the world.  Click here for her interesting history:  built 1918 for the US Naval Overseas Transport Service (NOTS), purchased by Ford in 1925, which operated it until 1937.  Given the automobiles awaiting loading, maybe 1935 Fords, this photo appears to have been taken near the end of its time as a Ford vessel.

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The Chester plant made Fords from 1927 until 1958.  Click here for more photos and info on the Chester plant.  When that plant closed, operations moved to Mahwah NJ, where after some years, the same script was followed. 

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Click here for Ford production location photos both vintage and abroad.

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Ford was know to have tried to own all aspects of their operation, from the Fordlandia gambit to northern forests and mines, but other companies like US Steel, Bethlehem, fruit companies and petroleum companies did the same.   By the way, now that it’s summer BBQ season, do you know the connection between Ford and Kingsford charcoal?

 

Again, thanks to barrel for these photos.

She started out as S. O. Co. No. 14 from a shipyard not far from her current Penn’s Landing berth and worked for almost 80 years.   For more on that story, read this article from the historiccamdencounty.com.

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The next two photos are credited to Bonnie Halda, who took them last week.

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Baltimore, completed in 1906, was built at the same yard as Pegasus,  1907.

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Except for the two credited to Bonnie Halda, all photos were taken by Will Van Dorp.   For a post with more photos of these old-timers and others, click here.

For an even older and much modified one, click here for a post I did on Charlotte, built in 1880 as a sandbagger.  Click here for info on Swell, a repurposed 1912 tug operating in British Columbia.

Click here for an index of previous second lives posts.  Reinventions are everywhere, but I have a hunch that the Caribbean offers an especially rewarding search area for second acts, third acts, and the number goes on.  Take a vessel named Azores.   I’d never heard of it before, but . . . suppose I say Stockholm, THAT Stockholm.  the one that left the sixth boro in July 1956 and could have been a disintegrating artificial reef lying near Andrea Doria.  Rich Taylor took the photo below in St. Kitts early last month.  Scroll through here to see her sans bow.  Click here to see her in dry dock and showing her unusual stern lines.  Here’s a long list of her previous names:  Stockholm until 1960, Volkerfreundschaft until 1985, Fritjof Nansen until 1993, Italia I until later in 1993, Italia Prima until 2003, Valtur Prima until later 2003, Caribe until 2005, Athena until 2013 . . . Azores until . . . further notice.

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And then there’s this tugboat looking like exactly what she is . . . undistracted by her pink deckhouse, can’t you imagine this as a former workhorse of the northeast?  Any guesses?

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She was once called James McAllister.  And here’s the story . . . built 1930 in Philly.   Does anyone have photos of her in Hayes colors . . . purple I presume?

Many thanks to Rich Taylor for these photos of vessels that have lived on and on.

 

Aircraft about to land .  .  .

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well . .  yes, Philly’s airport is only a few miles to the south.

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Recognize the aircraft carrier?

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CV-67 has been mothballed since 2007.  I’m just wondering whether there’s a tally of the number of crew who served aboard CV-67 in the almost four decades it was active.

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Now . ..  definitely, mothballed.

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Until less than a year ago, Kennedy shared waterfront space with the Forrestal.  Here and here are posts from February 2014 of Forrestal leaving Philadelphia and arriving in Brownville.  Has anyone seen what’s left of the Forrestal today?

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

The photo immediately below was taken in July 2011, just before I published this post from Mayport.

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At that time, I’d no idea that some 40 months later I’d cross paths with the same vessel, FFG 42 Klakring here.

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Here is NISMF . . . aka

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. .  the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility in the Philadelphia Navy Yard,

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where in addition to FFGs (frigates) like Klakring, there are DDs (destroyers) as shown in photo #4 and LPDs (amphibious transport docks) like USS Shreveport above and below foreground.

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guided missile cruisers and

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amphibious cargo ships like USS El Paso,

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LKA-117.  Click here for info on one of her former captains.

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Last vessel for today is T-AGOR-16, USS Hayes, an oceanographic research ship.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who suggests that if you’re in Philly, take a ride to the end of Broad Street and visit the huge business campus still known as the Navy Yard.  There’s no better place to walk around!

Eight years ago today I published a post I called Meet Alice.    More on that fact later.  Today we meet  . . . Alakai.

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It seems fitting that today we should meet  Alakai to the right and her sister Huakai, 

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now known as USNS Puerto Rico and

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USNS Guam.   Click here and here for more on these vessels.

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No bulbous bow here . . . and that’s a bulker docked off Alakai‘s stern.  The catamarans were a very costly mistake for Hawaii Superferry.  Here are the ship specifications from an existing Hawaii Superferry site.

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Today both vessels await their fate at the Philadelphia Navy yard,

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where I took this photo below, which has nothing to do with the HSFs, but I couldn’t pass it up.

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Soon I’ll post more from NISMF Philadelphia, a place that should be on everyone’s gallivant list.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who posted “Meet Alice” exactly eight years ago as the inaugural post on this blog.  Since then, 2,602 other posts have been sent up from my rabbit’s hole.  It’s been a fun gallivant that has shown me fascinating stuff and introduced me to literally thousands of fun and otherwise interesting folks.  If I have the stamina and time, there ARE many more places to go and ways to go there, and I hope to do another 2600+ posts over the next days and months and years .  .   .   Thanks for reading and writing back.

 

 

Know the location?

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I took it from a southernmost point in the Bronx looking eastward toward North Brother Island . . . the brick chimney to the right.  I can’t identify either the Weeks tug or the current usage of the red-and-white striped stack to the left.

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What caught my attention was the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon on the front of the house of Mediterranean Sea.

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By the time I got back to the sixth boro, the pink “M” on Moran tugs was once again white.  The only photo of a Moran tug I managed in the whole month of October was the one below, a photo of a photo of a Catherine Moran in the lobby of a restaurant in Lockport.  Label says . . . as you can read it . . . “Lockport 1939.”  Would this have been the vessel built by Neafie & Levy in 1904?

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As to the pink ribbon, I was happy to see it.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Thanks for all the guesses, both in comments and on email.  Last week I accompanied a group of journalists invited on board.  The word from the SS United States Conservancy is that the need for action is urgent;  the project is running a critical “race against time.”  Here are a few key facts about the vessel from the conservancy website.  This is the first of several posts I intend to do.  Click here for an Op-Ed piece written by one of the guides on our tour Susan Gibbs, grand daughter of the the vessel’s designer, architect, and creator.

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Note the unique “sampan wing” tips on the funnels.

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This is midships looking aft in the First Class corridor, as it looks today.   To the left, you can see the deck “footprints” of suites, including where the plumbing rested.

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This section of the “First Class stairs,” like the entire interior is stripped to bare metal.

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Use your imagination . . . this is the First class ballroom, where Count Basie and other greats played.

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This is the port side promenade deck.  (Follow the links there.)  Too enclosed, you think?  You’d want it enclosed for a passage in the North Atlantic in January as she speeds along at nearly 40 mph.

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All fotos by Will Van Dorp.  Click here for David Macaulay’s blog about the vessel that brought him to the United States.

For more info on the the SS United States Conservancy and their efforts to save the ship via repurposing, click here.    More soon . . . if not tomorrow.

By the way, in yesterday’s post, the first three fotos were as follows:  1955 Packard Clipper Super, a 1941 Cadillac Series 75 hearse, and a 1955 Buick Road Master . . . all contemporaries of the SS United States.

Many thanks to the Conservancy for the opportunity to tour the vessel.  If you have personal stories related to the vessel, please consider adding them to the comments.

Cold weather keeps me inside, where my fingers keep the keyboard warm.    I’ll start by revisiting this foto I took a warm morning in 2010.  That tugboat was 60 years old at that moment.  The easiest name to read is Ocean King, but in raised metal letters on the port bow, you might make out some other letters,

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here and

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even clearer here on the starboard bow.    And in between those two names, she also went by David McAllister.

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The following three fotos come thanks to Allen Baker.  The foto below shows Resolute in 1974 in Fells Point, when she was part of the Baker-Whitely Towing Company.    Click here and here for posts I did in Fells Point and Baltimore back in 2010.

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The foto below dates from 1980.  Notice Grace McAllister to the left.  At this point, McAllister had just purchased the B-W Towing Company.

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The boat to the right I can’t identify.  Notice Holland and Britannia also.  Britannia was built as Thomas A. Meseck at Marvel in Newburgh NY in 1942.

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It turns out that Ocean King aka Resolute was built at RTC Shipbuilding, the same yard in Philadelphia Camden as  John B. Caddell, which I last saw, sold for scrap here.

Many thanks to Allen Baker for sharing these vintage fotos.  And thanks to the folks at tugboatinformation.com, without whom I’d have a much harder time tracing back these names.

First three fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Although quite common for tugboats and other smaller craft, New York is a rare place of registry in large vessels today.  Horizon Trader belongs to the same aging Jones Act fleet as Producer, Navigator, Challenger, . . . Crusader now scrapped.

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I’m way out of my depth in bringing up the Jones Act, a set of statutes regulating maritime commerce dating from 1920 sponsored by Senator Wesley Livsey Jones.  But here is a fact:  35 years old is the average fleet age of Horizon’s container vessels . . . a large if not the largest Jones Act carrier.  That compares with 12 years  . . . for the international container vessel fleet.  Source for these ages is here.

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As an untrained observer of the industry, I can state that Horizon Trader looks all of her 40 years, and again . .  as a fervent but unconnected news consumer, I’ve heard/read nothing that blemishes their safety record.

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And here’s the newest development . . . Horizon will cease their commerce through New York, substituting Philly instead.

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Technically Trader is a Type C6-S-85a designed for Farrell Lines by George G. Sharp, a firm with a stellar list of vessels to its name.

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Enjoy the 40-year-old details.   I’d love to hear from someone who’d been onboard.

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She looks small beside Laura K. Moran.  All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

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Graves of Arthur Kill

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

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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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