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Old 01-19-2016, 06:30 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,573

*MQ design/Hinkley & ONA*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues,
Jim, I agree with you above summation RE: the MQ's "unified in design theme upon completion etc." Frankly, I was one who liked the MQ. Certainly not what the steamboating river world up to then was used too. And there were vocal critics galore both within the company and from veteran travelers. "But she's not the DELTA QUEEN," we heard. How could she be? Then comparison to "A Holiday Inn on a raft." In time there were some flaws appearing but that is the nature of something her size and complexity--internal house plumbing was one big issue. And how Betty Blake did grouse and grumble. "The worst enemies to the boat coming from our assumed friends," she grumbled with a drag on her cigarette.

Your mention of the Hinkley brothers and their then ONA [Overseas National Airways] made my ears perk up. ONA discussed here peviously a number of times. Basically what called a "fast start, fast finish" involvement in building the MQ, continual operation of the DQ. ONA failed when the company suffered two disastrous air crashes fortunatiely with no loss of life or injury. Hinkley himself had insured the aircraft only at their "present value" and not "replacement value" on the books or insurance coverage.

Several years in a row Albert P. Hinkley, Jr. RA and principal partner in HINKLEY, SHEPHERS, NORDEN, P.L.C., Warrenton, Virginia, attended the big annual meeting and 'ShiPosium' with Steamship Historical Society of America. We talked long hours with him filling me in. Indeed Albert was a well known maritime designer having done work on several of the CUNARD LINE later cruise ships but not the then new QE-2. Albert stated that working for CUNARD one of the most difficult periods of his career. The famous line not above contracting with a designing corporation; then play one off the other; then simply stop all work, dismiss the designers and walk off with the plans to another company. This after CUNARD had been sold. Last time Albert attended was aboard the hotel liner old QUEEN MARY in Long Beach, Cal. for the 'ShiPosium.' He's getting up in years now and didn't attend the last meeting in Newport, RI. Well, again, what do I know?

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