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Old 11-15-2006, 03:05 PM
R. Dale Flick R. Dale Flick is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,570

Hi, Bruno:
Read your questions Re: the period photos of the DELTA QUEEN and I'll share what I 'think' I know.

Pg. 15 bow-on photo of the DELTA QUEEN is a dandy and It came from the collection of Judy Patsch. It was taken at the CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION CO. dock in Sacramento, California. Don't know if it was dated or not. It shows the C.T. CO. big pier and huge warehouse there. The drop down to the water and the deck of the DK/DQ was considerable and they had an elevator at one time to lower/raise cargo and automobiles for shipment. *The "triangular little building" on the bow of the boat was additional passenger housing the company built for "Single men only" with some 42 berths. The price for passage was for a long time 50 cents each. Meals could be purchased extra in the main dining room. I won't go so far as to say the rooms were 'skid row' but in those days single men, by custom, were kept separate unless they had the money to purchase higher priced cabins above. In the 1920-1930 era there was still a need for cheaper rooms to house laborers and immigrants traveling up the Sacramento to various mills and the big agricultural areas. The boats on California waters were never fitted with a swinging stage as the custom here. Freight/autos were loaded/unloaded along the side ocean ship style. At time the railings on the top decks were swung back and passengers arrived via a gangway on what was termed then 'Saloon' and upper 'Obervation deck.' Tidal levels played a part in this. John Burns, son of old Jim Burns who built the boats, related to me that the Asian [Chinese/Japanese immigrants] trade wasn't treated all that politely by today's 'Politically correct' standards. That's another story for another day.

Pg. 18 showing the distinct stairs or 'ladder' in nautical terms up to the stern of the top deck was no doubt installed in the World War II days for access by Navy sailors etc. There was no roof railing around but they needed access to various lights and fixtures up there and to post 'naked eye observers.' One of the three tall slightly raked masts showing in old photos was wired for Navy radio communications and clearly shows in the stern view of the DELTA QUEEN transiting the Panama Canal as seen on Pg. 92 of Fred Way's 'The Saga of the DELTA QUEEN.' That same radio mast was taken down from the roof behind the plothouse and used as the temporary jackstaff on the bow for the trip from New Orleans to Cincinnati and thence to Dravo in 1947.

I'll defer to others with long memories Re: the cracked shaft as per your above question.

R. Dale Flick
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