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unsolved: Delta Queen or Delta King?

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Old 07-15-2007, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rabbit Hash, KY and Decatur, Al Shipyards
Posts: 1,160
Default I'll Go for the King

Sorry, but if I could enlarge the name board I could give you an answer, although I do have some comments about the picture:

1. The suspension bridge in the background, with its distinctive "X" bracing is obviously the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge that opened in November 1936. Assuming the bridge is completed, this dates the picture between then and 29 September 1940, the last day of operation for the River Lines.

2. The twin steamboats were "night boats", so photographs of them cruising the bay and river was limited to times of the year when longer hours of sunlight let pictures be taken of then near arrival and departure times.

3. Infrequently, day trips were made, but these were times when the boats were seen flying every flags and pennant they had aboard. The naked flagstaffs in the photo stand out like telephone poles. The flags were likely taken down the evening before at sunset and won't be put up again until before boading for the next evening's departure.

4. The crowd on the forward decks is gathered in anticipation of a landing, so judging that the boat has just come under the Bay Bridge -- folks are gathered on the outer decks to see San Francisco as they approach the city after an all-night trip from Sacramento.

5. The signage on the side of the boat reminds me of Cap'n Lexie's work decades later, and I have not seen another picture that shows the same message. Obviously, this would date the picture precisely and perhaps even identify the boat.

6. My guess is the DELTA KING, just because more photos seem to be taken of that boat. But my guess is as good as any other, as the boats were identical except for the name boards....or were they?

Last edited by Shipyard Sam; 07-15-2007 at 12:52 PM. Reason: xzy
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