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Old 11-28-2008, 08:18 PM
John Fryant John Fryant is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 266

You're so right Jim. I trust you've looked at those pics of the Indiana "on grade" showing the obvious lack of bottom paint. However, they must have waterproofed the bottom seams somehow - perhaps with tar or red lead? Another item they probably never painted was the sidewheels. Can you imagine trying to crawl around over all those wood spokes and buckets with a paint can and brush? They might have painted the iron work - shafts, flanges and rings - but I'm just sure they never tried to paint the wood parts. I'll bet the early stern wheelers never had the wheels painted either. I wonder when the custom of painting sternwheels started? Some of the Howard photos show newly built sternwheelers with the wheels painted except for the bucket planks. I've read that the iron shafts were painted white so that if a crack or break happened it was easier to spot in the white paint. Capt. Bates, can you enlighten us any further on this subject?
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