Thread: photo forensics
View Single Post
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2016, 08:25 AM
R. Dale Flick R. Dale Flick is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,573

*Open transoms/'Gibson girl'/1900?*
Morning, Jim & Frank,
Ummm, lots of additional 'steamboat forensics' in Jim's iniitial posting of the photos, questions and it seems to go on and on. This is fun! Yes, I also noticed the "skylight windows mostly open" as did Jim. The "Mayfly" infestation from mid-June to July about the same down here as up at the lake house in Michigan. And they do leave a mess as do regular house flys, spiders. Spiders the worse with those spots hard to wash off. The fine photo of the boat's cabin show things pretty new, fresh painted, glossy and I will toss my ring to the year 1899 as Frank mentioned. I still hold the flower basket/pot hanging from way above is possibly artificial. Yet many other photos show steamboat cabins with fresh cut flowers, potted plants, plant vines dangling from walls and above. Capt. Mary B. Greene loved plants/flowers on the GREENE LINE boats that appear in many photos of their day.

The 'Gibson girl' lady [Artist Charles Dana Gibson] conviently posed possibly 1900/1901 as Jim opines. No doubt the cabin photo taken with the reading table and, no doubt, one big Bible dramatically opened to indicate the boat, company, officers and crew were a "Christian boat" as termed then with a subtle nudge to consider traveling on this line. I have no doubt many an evening or rainy afternoon or evening that new piano was used for general hymn singing, popular music after the boats band played. Do you think there was possibly dancing off that beautiful carpet on the hard floor of the men's cabin? Unmarried young women and even older did NOT dance in public with strangers on a steamboat or ship. There would have been somebody as a chaperone.

Incidentally, I did some digging finding that wire mesh window screening, after some early years of experimentation, didn't formally receive a U.S. Patent for manufacture until the year 1900. Before that, believe it or not, people in cities and out in the county lived with no screens other than make-shift cheese cloth type covers for windows, doors. Insects had free access in and out of houses/buildings. How many of you here old enough to remember those sticky fly trap tapes people hung from the ceiling that looked like movie film tape to catch flys? My grandfather's food business had them hanging all over with lots of dead flys stuck to the goo on the tape which, I think, for a long time was arsenic base. Window screening one of the much-needed marvels used in buildings, offices, residences, dormitories during building of the Panama Canal. Those early warnings about "catching your death from 'vapors or augue and the night air' at night really from insects, fly bites.

Seems the price for a summer Sunday 'Meet the boat trip' often varied as we see from $1.75, .50 cents, .25 cents. Yes, the L&C LINE then also offered 'deck passengers' a rate with no cabin or meals. Even the 'California Transportation Co.' did this with their early boats on the Sacramento and later the then new DELTA KING/DELTA QUEEN.

Thanks Jim and Frank. Sure, I'll meet you "...before 3:00 PM at the L&C wharfboat...foot of 3rd St, we'll take a steamboat ride." Now, I ask, when will Jim offer another gem like this for steamboat forensics? This what needs. Cheers!
~*PS.*~ How many here recall the days of the 'Spider man' working on the DELTA QUEEN from summer to late autumn and the first frost with his broom, bucket of soapy water, rags on duty around the decks washing off spider, fly specks and webs from the overheads, outside decks, railings? That in my time was a L-O-N-G time ago and I'm sure Jim and others here saw/remember the 'Spider man.' Well, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.
Reply With Quote