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Never did I think a report from a federal judge of United States District Court, Northern District, New York dated January 31, 1955, would make such an interesting read.  It  emerges from two separate but related incidents that occurred in the port of Albany in late September 1953.  One of the companies involved still works in the region with a different boat by the same name, Ellen S. Bouchard, the 1951 boat.  I’m sure an image could be found of that boat, since it was scrapped under a different name as late as 1953.

What emerges from the report and fascinates me is an image of the past when a different type of vessel (see image below) plied the waterways and trade patterns were quite unlike today.  Frank A. Lowery, the vessel below, is described in different places here as a steamer, a motor vessel, and a canal propeller.  It’s a wooden barge built in Brooklyn in 1918 for a company called Ore Carrying Corp and –I assume–called OCCO 101.  In 1929 it was made a self-propelled barge, presumably looking like the photo below taken in 1950 in Lyons, NY.  Lowery at the time of the incident in Albany was loaded and had six barges in tow.  Note in the photo below you see the bow of one barge.

Below you see the particulars on Lowery throughout its lives.

The other thing that intrigues me about the legal report embedded in the first sentence of this post is the trade route alluded to. Lowery, her barges, and no doubt many like them transported wheat from Buffalo to Albany and scrap from Albany to Buffalo, via the relatively newly opened Barge Canal.  Folks working on the barge Canal would have no idea what to make of traffic on the canal in 2018 such as this, this, or  this.

Yesterday’s post featured a black/white photo of the image below.  Posting it, generated the helpful background info contained in the comment by William Lafferty.  It also generated the image below.

Many thanks to Dave Lauster and Edson Ennis, who generated the initial questions and these images, and to Bob Stopper for the tireless relaying and much more.  Somewhat related to today’s post is this set from Bob in 2014.

One of the goals I’ve had for this blog for some years now has been an effort to bring into the public domain images of years past exactly like these when –to repeat the points above– vessels and trade patterns were different.  I look forward to continuing this effort.  With your assistance, more “far-flung” posts are just around the next bend.

An organization with some overlapping goals is the Canal Society of New York State.  Click here to see the list of presentations at the winter symposium planned for March 2 in Rochester NY.  I plan to be there.  They also have a FB presence where they frequently post photos similar to the ones in today’s and yesterday’s posts.  Consider joining in one or more of these.

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