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Old 08-30-2016, 08:38 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,584

*Different woods on boats for different purposes*
Steamboating colleagues,
Jim, again thanks for your latest posting above in tandem with the J.M. WHITE RE: "Woods used in steamboats." Good that you were/are close to the Howard Steamboat Museum, talked with Loretta Howard back when you did, access to the records in the mansion. Jim Howard's interview runs in tandem with what our late Alan Bates wrote/spoke about having known Jim well. And you can bet each and every wood so chosen had its place and purpose--same as sailing vessels and others on our ocean coasts, Great Lakes.

You and Keith may recall a certain letter of 'complaint' sent to the Howards following completion of a steamboat I can't recall the name now. The owner strident in saying along the lines the "wood for the main deck not the right kind...'laid' the wrong way...prone to splitting." Other Howard records mention the big 'wood buying trips' to Kentucky, West Virginia etc. to find, purchase, mark, fell and haul the logs to the nearest stream for rafting down to Jeffersonville. The records also mention wood growing on the "sunny side and shady side of the hills and mountains...wood that had been 'wind shaken.'" 'First growth' wood preferred over second growth.

Right on about "moisture in oak." Historical studies, reconstructions of period buildings in England mention using then and now "right amount of moisture" [in oak] so those huge hammer beam ceilings would fit like a glove using wood pegs or now metal bolts--usually iron. Now, what more do you have to share with us? Again, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Soon to return to Cincinnati from the great green north woods.
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