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Old 03-11-2017, 07:37 AM
R. Dale Flick R. Dale Flick is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,573

*Burns, Garvey & steam pressure*
Morning, Steamboating collelalgues:
David, thanks for your words and rest assured I include you with the above in knowing more than most about the DQ, her steam technology. The quoted U.S. Navy figure of 450 psi 'could' be possible but, like you, seems high. This could be verified with further research. On the flip side, figures for the fast speed queen liner SS UNITED STATES, designed by William Francis Gibbs, registered high temperature steam at 900 degress plus with operating pressure of again 900 psi +. Her turbines spun at some 5,000 per minute. I remember the DQ's boiler room at other times being even hotter. Kenny Howe one who could verify that here. These now nearly 100 year old boilers require replacement with no doubt or argument. People today often fail to remember that steam in the early days a marvelous new power source driving the Industrial Revolution analogous to nuclear power in our time. Steam has always been a dangerous power product then and now requiring careful, diligent monitoring and control. It just isn't "fire her up boys and run her hard" in the 'dear old romantic, wonderful steamboat days' we hear filled with nostalgia.

Years back in late 1980s, I searched around getting wind of John Burns still living out in Oakland California. I got in touch with us conversing by phone; then John put me in contact with Stan Garvey, who was just in the very early throes of his book research. These acquaintances bloomed with me contacting the then DELTA QUEEN Steamboat Co. and Patti Young. The company extended an invitation for John and Stan to come to Cincinnati, take a trip on the boat. I met them at the airport, conveyed them to their then hotel in town as a group. This conviently fell in with the S&D of Pioneer Rivermen annual meeting that September. John spoke to the DQ passengers relating his dad's history along with his own in building the DK/DQ and the 'California Transportation Co.' etc. making quite a hit with the audience. Jim, his dad, had been invited by Capt. Tom Greene to take a free trip on the DQ here out of Cincinnati but never got around to it. Capt. Doc Hawley, I 'think,' mentioned to me having met one of the DQ former captains on a trip out of Cincinnati years later. IF it was Capt. King, I can't recall but will check with Doc.

I picked both up from the boat after the trip to spend two days here in my home prior to driving to Marietta. Our house open to them along with both doing needed laundry here from their travels. We grilled outside here for dinners in the evening. John liked good Scotch whiskey in a tall glass with just water and no ice, thank you. We talked, Talked, TALKED to the wee hours for two days with many documents, papers, plans they brought on the trip for me to view. Many papers on the DK/DQ with, perhaps, one of the last surving big leather log books from the DQ in existence from those early days. Other ledgers they had came from the boat's purser office. John and Stan both made a hit at S&D with John meeting Capt. Fred Way again for the first time since 1947 when he and his dad, Jim, visited the DQ being 'crated up' at the 'Fulton Yard' for delivery to New Orleans, Cincinnati and on to DRAVO. John Burns, as written, formed his own marine engineering company in Oakland with commercial and big U.S. Navy contracts for engine work. He was VERY successful to say the least. John was divorced from his first wife and never married after that. John was up in years [90s] later suffering a fall at work with a severely broken hip and leg. That was the beginning of the end for him. Last time we talked John was grousing in a weak voice about being in rehab. Dick Rutter, Capt. Fred Way's grandson living/working in California, informed me of John's death. John Burns, though a hit at S&D, sobered a few up with history and events for the boat long before 1947 when Capt. Tom Greene purchased her with his "now you know the rest of the story" approach. Stan Garvey originally was doing only the DELTA KING until he met all of us. I was one who encouraged him to do the entire story on both boats. Once Stan met, conversed, corresponded with our old S&D steamboat hands like Helen Huges Prater, daugther of Capt. Jesse Hughes, he was hooked and good.

I did see and do remember Marion Frommell and company working on the DQ boilers the time the tubes failed. I'm dumb as mud on engineering but remember about the problem being with the metal. I also recall a large wood shipping crate of water tubes for the DQ's use stored on the old GREENE LINE wharfboat here in Cincinnati as delivered from the foundry. What ever happened to them I know not when the wharfboat was sold being towed down river, sprang a puncture leak and sank. Again, what do I know?

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