Thread: photo forensics
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Old 09-06-2016, 10:17 AM
R. Dale Flick R. Dale Flick is offline
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,551
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*Photo forensics/This is a 'goodie*
Steamboating colleagues:
Again thanks to Jim Reising for another dandy linked to his photo postings with questions invoking "steamboat forensics." I don't know much but will give it a go from here.
First, I went to the 2nd photo of the CITY OF CINCINNATI obviously, I think, steaming down river possibly [?] at/near Madison, Indiana on a full-blown summer day. The unusually large crowd of passengers on her decks indicates to me this no doubt one of those celebrated 'Meet the boat' trips back then usually on a Sunday at the astonishing price of .50 cents per person. Naturally refreshments and food aboard purchased separately unless the family groups packed a picnic hamper. The 'Meet the boat' trips with one boat CITY OF CINCINNATI meeting the returning boat possibly here the CITY OF LOUISVILLE to transfer passengers over for the return run either back to Cincinnati or down to Louisville. That was even then a long day on the river from AM to, at times, late PM if there was a river navigation issue or a problem with the boat itself. Some accounts mention fog, storm etc. with the boat not returning until the wee hours of the morning. I would offer a guess this picture(s) possibly on/around the year 1899. In later years the then L&C LINE continued these 'Meet the boat' excursions with the then new sidewheel CINCINNATI of 1924 and the veteran QUEEN CITY.

Usual night boat costs were $3.00 one way, $5.00 round trip. Heck, you can't even buy a beer today for the cost then of a river trip on the night boats.

The first photo a picture of gentility in the main cabin. Again, I opine summer from June to late August or September. In this photo I see no evidence of any iron pot bellied stove with stove pipe running up to the overhead. There appears hanging a pot of blooming flowers. Possibly fresh flowers but I would guess hanging that high requiring one of the cabin boys to water it, it 'could' be artificial silk flowers even then. Possibly evidence of ceiling fans from above.

The gauzy mosquito netting on the chandeliers typical of summer months. The large bulbs outside of the netting for illumination with other wall lights along the sides. This netting common to keep dust, insects off of the chandeliers. In summer here and in the south house flys, other insects would land on gold picture frames, brass/gilt/silver light fixtures leaving 'insects spots' hard to remove by whomover doing the cleaning. The long cabin carpet from the 'Ladies Cabin' and not rolled up for the season. Many boats did roll up long carpets until fall; others left the carpeting down. In those days cheap human labor with lots of hand brushes, elbow grease the answer to all. When you think of the hard work keeping these boats relatively clean, scrubbed, dusted inside another negative to "old time romantic, wonderful steamboat days." Don't know if I'm even near what Jim knows but this my thinking. Again, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati. Returned home from Michigan on Sunday.
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