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Sixth boro fifth dimension posts are about vintage NYC harbor shipping culture photos. This very welcome photo I received from frequent commenter/researcher William Lafferty. This should be an easy question for many of you: where was this photo taken?
Here’s what William says about the photo above: “You don’t see classic New York harbor steam tugs in color often. I acquired this red border slide years ago. It shows Carroll Towing tugs docked, I’m guessing, in Greenpoint, between 1950 and 1955, very late in their careers. You should be able to identify the location. From left to right we have J. F. Carroll, Jr., Sally Carroll, Richard S. Carroll, and Anne Carroll. The J. F. Carroll, Jr. was built at Baltimore in 1911 by Spedden Shipbuilding Company as the Neptune for the Curtis Bay Towing Company there. The Army Engineering Department got it in 1915 and renamed it San Luis operating it in the New York District. After World War II Carroll obtained it, and it lasted until 1958, probably ending its days at Witte’s. [Note: Witte’s today is known as Donjon Recycling.] The Sally Carroll was built by John H. Dialogue at Camden in 1906 as the Haverstraw for the Cornell Steamboat Company but the Lehigh Valley Railroad bought it in 1907 and renamed it Aurora. After a stint in World War I as a minesweeper and later towing tug for the navy, it was returned to LV in 1919. Carroll got it in the early ’50s but it, too, disappears by 1960. The Anne Carroll was another Lehigh Valley carfloat tug, built by the Staten Island Shipbuilding Company at Port Richmond in 1910 as the Auburn, and dismantled at Staten Island in 1960.
My particular interest is the wooden Richard S. Carroll, since it was built on the lakes. It was launched as Active 4 January 1919 at the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, yard of the Leathem & Smith Towing & Wrecking Company, one of a number of small yards on the Lakes and East Coast to built standardized 100-foot wooden tugs for the Emergency Fleet Corporation. Powered by a double cylinder vertical compound steam engine built by Chicago’s Marine Iron Works, it operated for the United States Shipping Board in New York harbor until 1925 when transferred to the navy as USS Active YT 112. Decommissioned by the navy in June 1946, Carroll bought it 21 July 1947 and renamed it. It was dismantled at Staten Island in 1956 and its final document surrendered at New York on 20 February 1957.”
Besides the location question, does anyone have additional photos of any of these Carroll tugs, particularly Richard S.?
Many thanks to William Lafferty for this photo and information.
A photo of Anne Carroll appears in this post about the 1952 Hudson River tugboat race.
Here are previous posts in the series.
The next two photos come from Tugbitts vol. 16-1 Winter/Spring 2005 issue, pages 12 and 13. In the accompanying article, “From Flash Gordon to Handsome,” Capt. Harold Rudd describes how he bought David (1936) as she looked below in 1968 in West Palm Beach, FL, and delivered her to Long Island and then rebuilt/transformed her into a conventional looking tug.
I’d love to find more photos of her–either in Louisiana, Florida, or New York–when she had this visibility-limiting appearance. Anyone help?
The next two photos are the result of research by William Lafferty, much appreciated commenter on this blog.
The image below comes from Ripley’s Believe it or Not.
Dimensions on David were 54.4′ x 15.5.’ In Rudd’s 2005 report, he said that at that time, the tug had been sold to BAC Inc. Does anyone know if she still exists and if so under what name?
Art deco streamlining, which –IMHO– did nothing to enhance the performance of the tug, had its manifestations in other boats like Kalakala and SS Admiral and certainly in land vehicles, some extreme examples can be seen here and here.
As I said above, some of these photos appeared in Tugbitts over 10 years ago. Tugbitts recently announced it has decided to cease publication. I think its demise is a great loss, but I have to admit I did very little to help sustain it, which I regret. Click here for the announcement about the closing of the journal.
Here’s the index on previous second lives posts. I use “second lives” for what land folk call “adaptive reuse.” It strikes me that there may be more instances of repurposing re-design and -engineering on water than on land, but that’s may just be my opinion.
But first, I thought to call this “pre-boomed” to follow up on yesterday’s post and the wonderful backstory I got in email yesterday from William Lafferty, frequent contributor here. Here also sent along the photo below, which shows Twin Tube in 1951, i.e., before I was born and I’m 63.
Here’s part of what William wrote: “It shows the Twintube just after it entered service in fall 1951. Twintube was launched 28 August 1951, Captain Blount’s mother doing the honors, and built on Blount’s account. He used it as a travelling “demonstrator” for his shipyard’s products (it was Blount’s hull number 6) but also used it to haul oysters. Power plant originally was a rather rare 4-cylinder Harnischfeger 138-hp Diesel. (Click here for a 1950 news article including a photo of a 6-cylinder marine diesel.) Harnischfeger (the H in the mining equipment manufacturer P & H) had been set up in 1945 at Port Washington, Wisconsin, by P & H to exploit the workboat and yacht market. P & H closed the division, then at Crystal Lake, Illinois, in 1963. In spring 1952 Blount sold the vessel to the Staten Island Oil Company, who converted it to a tanker with a 40,000 gallon capacity in eight 5,000 gallon compartments within its “tubes.” The rest is, as they say, history.”
By the way, reference to “Staten Island Oil Company” brings me back to one of my favorite articles by the late great Don Sutherland here.
Here’s the index for all my previous Blount posts.
All this repurposing leads me to the second half of this post. A friend named Matt–former all-oceans sailor–is looking to write a serious history about Cross Sound Ferry vessel Cape Henlopen, ex- USS LST-510. Note the 510 still carried on its starboard bow. She was built in the great shipbuilding state of Indiana.
Here she passes Orient Point Lighthouse at the start of its 80-minute ride over to New London.
Matt is interested in interviewing past and present crew and seeing old photos of the vessel in any of its previous lives: Cape Henlopen, MV Virginia Beach, USS Buncombe County, or LST-510. If you send your interest in participating directly to my email, I’ll pass it along to Matt.
Many thanks again to William Lafferty for the Twintube story and photo. I took the photos of Cape Henlopen in March 2014. Here’s a version of the vessel by bowsprite.
I’m not sure I’d ever noticed this building before, Hell’s Kitchen . . 49th street about 1000 feet from the North River. Obviously, it’s associated with the Red Cross, where I spent a day earlier this month for First Aid/CRP/AED certification.
Excuse the informality of these photos, but inside the Red Cross building were these great collages I thought to share. Mary Weiss boarded
this vessel–click here for a better version–to do Red Cross work in Europe.
A few generations later, Magaly Polo boarded a Red Cross vessel named Comfort to assist with Red Cross relief work in the her native Haiti. Comfort also appeared here . . . scroll.
A few weeks ago, Comfort‘s sister vessel Mercy appeared here.
Many thanks to William Lafferty for sharing that photo.
Tangentially related: Note the two asterisks (**)after the shipyard for Rose City. Also produced there were these TOTE vessels, trailerships. I’d love to hear how these have worked out.