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Cargill’s Carneida and her sisters were unique enough, forgotten enough designs that when I stumbled onto this image yesterday AFTER posting, I decided to dedicate a whole post to Cargill’s vessels on the Barge Canal. The resemblance to the cargo portion of the 1000-footers currently on the Lakes is unmistakable although she’s less than a third of their size, but Barge Canal max.  She even has a hatch cover crane that runs along the deck.

This image would be the maiden voyage.  After construction in Leetsdale PA, she headed down the Ohio, up the Mississippi to the Illinois.  John MacMillan Jr. joined this vessel in Cairo IL for the voyage to Chicago.  There, Carneida was loaded with 1900 tons of corn.  On August 22, 1940, eight miles off Wilmette IL on Lake Michigan, however, the vessel found the weather not as favorable as predicted and swamped the towboat and two of the barges in almost 80′ of water!  The third barge broke free and floated away. 

In early September, a diver reported that the units were still connected and resting right side up on a coarse gravel bottom.  The found a salvage company that brought the corn up first.  The towboat and two barges stayed on the bottom until May 1941, then winched to the surface.  Once cleaned up, the two main engines and two auxiliaries ran. 

The lesson learned for the subsequent Carneida-class boats was . . . to put significantly less than 1900 tons of cargo into the holds for the Lakes portion.  These were canal cargo carrier, Barge Canal max ones.

Also after posting yesterday, I stumbled upon this version of the last photo in yesterday’s post:  this clearly identifies the boat as Carutica, an Odenbach vessel launched in 1946 with substantially more space in the towboat portion of the unit. The location is clearly below lock E-2 in Waterford.

All photos here from the archives on the Canal Society of New York. 

In the background on the river, with exhaust emanating from each of the corners, what is that!!!?  

Above you’re looking at the stern of a truly unique towboat launched in the summer of 1940, Cargill’s successor to Protector and Carbany.  Below, that’s the stern of Carbany and the bow of that unique vessel,  a Carneida-class grain mover.  I believe the first six photos of this post were taken at the Cargill facility on the Hudson in Albany.

Below are three (at least) Cargill units, from near to far, CCI  No. 3, Carbany, and then two of the Carneida-class.   CCI expands to Cargo Carriers incorporated, a Cargill transportation company created in 1930.

Here at the Cargill elevator in Albany is Carnectady. Cargill had a lease in port of Albany  from 1932 until 2018.  Carnectady here appears to have a sunshade installed over the “booth” of a wheelhouse.  I wonder if that wheelhouse could be lowered.

Cargill’s John MacMillan Jr visualized a design of integrated steel barges: three cargo barges cabled together with a fourth–a stern unit referred to as a towboat–containing power, controls, and accommodations.  In the photo below, you’re looking at the towboat with the name on the stern.  Overall, the four-part vessel was 265′ and comprised of a 49′ loa towboat with three 72′ loa cargo barges, all the breadth of a Barge Canal lock, i.e., uniformly slightly less than 44′. 

Below you’re looking across three cargo barges, likely of Carnectady, and to the right

you see the stern of Carswego.

Here at Little Falls, top of lock E-17, Carneida enters the lock.  It appears that the towboat was not ballasted to the same depth as the loaded grain barges ahead of it.  Might that be the captain talking with the lock tender?

I’m not sure what’s happening here with the state boat on the port bow of the lead Carneida-class barge, but clearly, the Cargill unit is eastbound at the bottom of lock E-9.

Note the “booth” of a wheelhouse.

Here the Carneida-class boat is climbing the flight, and

this photo may have been taken moments before as, with a burst of power and smoke,  it entered the bottom of E-5.

So this one has me puzzled.  I believe I see the Cargill logo on the wheelhouse, but the “towboat” section of the unit is much more substantial than that in the other photos of this post.  So, what is this?

All photos thanks to the Canal Society of New York.   Here‘s an article about these boats that adds a bit of detail.

The 1955 Merchant Vessels of the US show Carchester, Carswego, Carnectady, Carneida, and Carnesee still operating.  It also appears that Carbany-class vessels Carutica, Caryuga, and Carport were built after WW2.

Do plans exist anywhere for the towboat section of these units?  How long did they ply the Barge Canal?  What was their disposition?

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