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If you ever visit anywhere near Savannah, an absolute must-see is the Ships of the Sea Museum in the former William Scarbrough House, later the West Broad Street School. Given that the house and collection are stunning and the staff extraordinarily welcoming, it didn’t surprise me how crowded the museum was.

Excuse the quality of my photos taken sans tripod, but let’s start with this model of a vessel that has a connection with New York City.  Answer follows, but clues for now are that the vessel was built as the Denton in 1864 and you might know the whitish horizontal object to the left of the display case .  . .  in front of the bow of the model.

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The SSM models are quite large, and many of them are the handiwork of William E. Hitchcock.

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SS Savannah, e.g., is a great place to begin your tour and appreciate Hitchcock’s handiwork.  This vessel–the first steamship to cross the Atlantic--was built on the land’s edge the sixth boro.

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Notice the port side of Hitchcock’s model shows the paddlewheel, but

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the starboard side features a cutaway to the boiers and the paddlewheel collapsed as it would be while the vessel sailed, which was most of the time.

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Another of Hitchcock’s models shows a 220′ schooner as she appeared under construction.

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Notice that Forest City‘s demise–as was SS Savannah’s–happened on Fire Island.

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The SSM collection also includes a Hitchcock model of USS Passaic, another product of the sixth boro–Greenpoint–although many sources, including this one from wikipedia, state its shipyard as being Greenport, 120+ miles away.  Greenpoint’s Continental Iron Works also built Monitor, launched the same year as Passaic.

Back to the model at the top.  The vessel Denton had been renamed SS Dessoug when it delivered Cleopatra’s Needle to NYC.

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This and much more awaits you at Ships of the Sea Museum.  Thanks to Jed for suggesting–half a decade ago–that I go there.

These photos–warts and all-by Will Van Dorp.

 

I borrow this title from an event I’d love to see more photos of, an art trip marking National Maritime Day in May 1987 and reported on here and here.  What better way to leap into the future with blasts from the past, borrowing again.

My purpose in this post is to inform about a unique celebratory event at the Pratt campus in Brooklyn that will not be repeated after this week, Wednesday December 31 late into January 1 wee . . .  Here are the directions:  “There will be two gates open, one on the corner of Dekalb and Hall Street; the other is the main vehicle gate on Grand and Willoughby Aves.  Grand Ave does probably not show on maps because  there are super blocks on each side of Willoughby.  Once on the campus head for the smokestack or follow the noise to the calliope.   Closest subway stop is Washington\Clinton on the G train.  Get out at the Washington end of the station.  One block along  Lafayette ,  turn left around the church.  One block down Hall Street you will see Pratt Institute.”

Here and here are previous posts I’ve done on the whistles Conrad Milster has at Pratt.

Here are some of my photos of steam whistles, my tribute to steam . . .

aboard Belle of Louisville,

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at the Pageant of Steam,

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and all the rest at the Stoom fest near Rotterdam this past May.   Like the 1930 steam tug Roek.

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Or the 1933 British Navy torpedo recovery vessel Elfin.

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Yes, that’s a child playing on the torpedo.

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Or the 1893 Pieter Boele .  . . a steam tug with a bowsprit.

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Or the 1915 Hercules.

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Dress warm and come bathe in the sound and steam hooked up by Conrad Milster at Pratt.  I’ll see you there.

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All Most photos by Will Van Dorp.  The photo above is by the inimitable bowsprite, who captured steam and cold water rituals here 4 years ago.

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I hoped to ride Elbe to Maassluis, but due to my misread of the waterbus schedule, we were JUST too late . .  and watched from the quay.  For two short movies of Elbe leaving the dock, check my Facebook page.

 

You may recall previous posts here and here about these machines called “alligators” or warping tugs, flat bellied vessels used in timbering a century ago that could pull themselves across short stretches of land between bodies of water.    These photos were sent to me by Steven Smith who owns a camp near where the photos of wreckage in the second link above were taken.  The images that follow likely show that same tug in its prime.  Steve writes that in the early 1920s, the tug was “shipped on a flatbed railroad car to the RR station at Bemis, Maine, next to Mooselucmeguntic lake – it steamed over to Upper Dam, over the carry to Richardson Lake then to Middle Dam and then down the Carry road to its home on Pond in the River all under its own power .”  Notice the name Roebling on the spool of cable.  Alligator worked on the lakes from 1923 until about 1953.

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In this close-up, notice the levers and U-joints employed to raise the props and shafts during land transits.

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The next two photos below show while the Alligator was in transit from the Bemis RR station to Pond in the River:  two lakes and two transits on dry land to get to Pond in the River

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Thanks much to Steve Smith for sending along these photos.  Credit for the top four photos goes to Brown Company Collection, Michael Spinelli, Jr. Center for University Archives and Special Collections, Herber H. Lamson library and Learning Commons, Plymouth State University, and that’s in Plymouth, NH.

And the timing . . . check out this story about the annual celebration of alligators  below NYC . .  maybe connecting the various parts of the sixth boro.

Taken over in Newark Bay . .  a shrink-wrapped airplane on a barge . .  foto compliments of the team over at Henry Marine.  I did this post in April 2013, but you should befriend them on Facebook at Tug Life at Henry Marine for a different take on working in the sixth boro.  Anyone know where this airplane has gone/is going?  Two of several previous posts with airplanes on barges are here and here.

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Over in Tottenville, it’s Bertha and the Outerbridge beyond that.  Thanks to Ashley for this foto.  Previously, Ashley sent along this foto.

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Up near the Thousand Islands and the Canadian border, it’s Bowditch, foto compliments of Bob Stopper.  Bowditch dates from 1954 and used to be called Hot Dog.  More of Bob’s fotos from upstate NY and other places soon.

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Taken on Penobscot Bay, it’s Cangarda, thanks to Allan Seymour.  He and Sally do the Sally W blog.

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The next two–showing fish tugs–were taken by my sister on Lake Huron in August.  Previously I did posts about fish tugs here, here, and here.   Here‘s another series on Nancy K.   See more L & R here.

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And last but not least, taken off New London during its schooner fest, it’s Malabar II, a 91-year-old vessel of John Alden design.  Fotos of this timeless vessel come compliments of Rod Clingman.

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Mant thanks to Rod, Allan, Bob, Maraki, and –last but not least–the crew at Henry Marine for permission to use these fotos.

Now some info on other people’s events:

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Working Harbor Committee Circumnavigation of Staten Island

Bring Harvest dome to Gowanus

and last but certainly not least . . .  that’s a tugster foto below.  Click here for details.

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Ten months ago I did this post of the 1905 ferry Binghamton.  Twenty months ago I did this one,  this  and this with many interior shots at that time.   The foto below dates from October 2011 just after Irene.

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Here was Binghamton this morning, a work of disintegrative art, refusing to buckle in spite of Sandy.

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North end October 2011 and

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today, June 2013.

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South end 2011 and

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peeled back 2013.

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Closer up as seen from the right bank 20 months ago and

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now.

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See a Flickr foto of a NJ historical marker no longer memorializing the wreck, click here.  In its place, someone has had the good sense to inscribe the walls of the guardhouse with the 94-year-old words of a gallivanting Edna St Vincent Millay.

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How will she fare in the next 10 months?

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For a beautifully illustrated report on the life of the ferry prepared by Bill Lee, click here.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated but cool story here about a 61-year-old immigrant to US circumnavigating in a 24′ sailboat!!

Two years ago, I learned about these tugs while north of the border here.   Many thanks to Paul Fehling for today’s fotos of alligator tug remains.  He took the fotos while canoeing recently in western Maine.    My reference book called Alligators of the North makes me believe these could be this could be what’s left of a 1923 warping tug called Alligator shipped from Simcoe Ontario to Portland Maine.

These ruins raise questions like . . .  are there fotos of Alligator intact and

how did it ship from Lake Erie to here?

When was it last operational?

It lies downstream from Umbagog Lake near the New Hampshire/Maine border, not far from the town of Errol, where I haven’t been in over 20 years.

Many thanks to Paul Fehling.

For some coastal Maine delights, click here for Sally W reports from Camden.

This does not look like a highway scene, yet

it IS the stretch of Route 10 that will get you the best fuel economy and can accommodate quite oversized loads

whether they come from Manitowoc or Chengxi or

anywhere else, Badger can move backward

driven from here or

forward . . .

to get you there.  It has for a long time, and we hope will continue that role.

This last foto from the Badger onboard museum. All others by Will Van Dorp, who will continue along Route 10 today.  More Badger soon.  Click here to learn more about the imminent threat to the ferry.

A salmon-fishing dog in a kayak being paddled by a human and tailed by a Coast Guard RIB . . . that’s intriguing, but the 50 or so folks with me at the end of the jetty were not there to greet the pooch.  We were there to see the badger,

this Badger.

Badger entered service about the same year I did and

now she’s threatened, at least in her current state of being a coal-fired steam-powered ferry.  For part of the year she shuttles between Ludington, MI and Manitowoc, WI . . . as she has for 60 years, but

like I said, this might be it.  That’s reason enough to

take a ride, which I’m about to do.  More soon from the 60-miles one-way trip between the two Lake Michigan ports.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp.

In Utah a few weeks ago, I saw a deer, recently dead . . . judging by the redness of some remaining tissue, but scavengers like ravens and coyotes had mostly picked clean its intact ribcage, which itself would soon be hauled away in sections by the larger beasts.  Binghamton, the 1905 ferry, is dead.

Riverwater ravens and coyotes have been picking her clean but ever so slowly. I took the next three fotos last October, 2011.

Here’s a post I did with interior shots, including this

elegant staircase leading up to the bar.

Fast forward 10 months:  Sally Seymour took these fotos late last week as they traveled downriver in the rain.

The river has been scavenging, but

ever so slowly, as if to say . . . I know some of this beauty could be saved but  it

just “aint gonna happen.”

If one option is letting the vessel disintegrate and travel downriver piecemeal, then I hope a huge machine gets in here and devours it in a day BUT invites me in to take fotos of each bite.

But oh . . .  that bar!!

Fotos 5, 6, and 7 by Sally Seymour.  All others by Will Van Dorp.  And thanks to Walter Stevens for sending this background article along . .  published early December 2011.

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

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