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Jim Reising 09-09-2016 02:59 PM

Perhaps more on steamboats and insects
2 Attachment(s)
The attached photo show passengers having dinner outside on the boiler deck guard of the GOLDEN EAGLE. Built as the WM. GARIG a cotton packet, the "GOLDIE" had a very narrow cabin. But its not dinning on the guard that interests me in this picture, look to the right along the overhead, see those light bulbs......they look black! In b/w photos many times red comes out black, so I'm thinking they lit the guard at night with red lights to keep from attracting bugs. Also red light does not demenish night vision.
This picture was probably taken in the 30's, when did yellow bug lights come into use??????

R. Dale Flick 09-09-2016 04:40 PM

*Yellow bug lights/GOLDEN EAGLE*
Steamboating colleagues:
Jim, great photos above of the GOLDEN EAGLE showing how it was back then. Question: What did they do serving meals on the GE when weather was cold, rainy? I do see what appears to be canvas drop cloths on the outside above the deck railing. I hope the food on the GE was darned good as to make that kind of a sell to present day travelers on a river boat would be tough. Yet, as they say, people didn't know any different and loved it. Same went for the now rather spartan to dreary accommodations on the GORDON C. GREENE. Far cry from the big, new boats today here and on European rivers. Back then a real stretch converting a packet steamboat to a cruise boat. Cabins were small on many of the night boats as that was all needed. Forget full house plumbing until years later.

So far I've come up -0- seeking history of the 'yellow insect lights.' Yet, they've been around a lot longer than we think along with the 'red bulbs.' I remember both in the military, seeing them on navy and other big commercial ocean ships. Somebody may know. Great pictures and great questions.

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

Frank X. Prudent 09-09-2016 05:24 PM

The "GOLDIE's" boiler deck was enclosed with windows so dining out on the guard could continue during the cooler months. In fact, take a close look at the stern view photo of her and you'll see how the forward part of the boiler deck was enclosed. The Eagle Packet Co. used the same scheme on the CAPE GIRARDEAU later on. The Greene Line continued with enclosing the forward boiler deck for awhile during the cooler months and, as you know, eventually enclosed the whole of the GORDON C. GREENE's boiler deck.

Word on the street is that the AQ people would like to enclose the forward texas deck to allow more passengers to have their meals at the buffet dining spot Front Porch of America. If they study old photos of the GOLDEN EAGLE and CAPE GIRARDEAU/GORDON C. GREENE and see how it was done to those fine old steamboats they could be on to something.

R. Dale Flick 09-09-2016 06:13 PM

*RE: 'Enclosed decks on GOLDIE & GCG*
Steamboating colleagues:
Frank, thanks for your keen eyes, knowledge of enclosing decks on the GOLDEN EAGLE and the GORDON C. GREENE. This arrangement fine for warm weather months up to and until the boats laid up for the winter. Even then boat owners knew they couldn't run too long into the late fall season. The GREENE LINE learned that long ago even down to when then put the DQ into service.

Question: No evidence I see but did they have any kind of steam heat on the GORDON C. GREENE once they enclosed her decks outside? As a kid my dad did drag me on the GORDON when he was doing official visits from the Cincinnati Fire Department and City Hall. I remember some things but others over my head at the time. Had I been a few years older I possibly would have been more vigilant. At least I did get aboard the GORDON in addition to seeing her steaming up and down the river here in Cincinnati. Dad used to say, "Did you hear that boat whistle go down last night? It was the GORDON C. GREENE."

Later I vividly recall on a frosty night late hearing the DELTA QUEEN blowing her last long whistle in late November ending her season until Mardi Gras. They really laid on that whistle that last night with it reverberating all over town and the hills. It was haunting and I'll never forget it. Again, what do I know?

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

Jim Reising 09-09-2016 10:25 PM

It looks to me that they serving dinner astern of the enclosed portion of the boiler deck. On the GCG the officers table was on the boiler deck's stbd guard, not in the main cabin.

R. Dale Flick 09-10-2016 07:57 AM

*Opinions varied on GORDON C. GREENE*
Steamboating colleagues:
Again thanks to Jim and Frank for posting these great discussion threads with photos. This makes my day and if I don't see a new one I get pretty glum. Jim, Keith, Frank and others know a lot more about the GOLDEN EAGLE than I do and I sure wish I had 'tripped' on her just once. Noted author Clarke Firestone in Cincinnati was a fan of steamboats in addition to being a friend of the Greene family playing cards with Capt. Mary B. Greene. His books contain incredibly detailed, colorful descriptions of his 'trips' on the Greene boats and the GOLDEN EAGLE. I posted one of his descriptions of the GOLDIE on her some years ago but don't think it can be retrieved now.

Again, converting a period packet boat to a cruise boat was in many cases a stretch then. People loved the GE and the GORDON C. GREENE. Yet, the GORDON had many lacking features that would never sell in today's river tourist market. Mrs. Letha C. Greene mentions a little of this in her 'Long Live the DELTA QUEEN' and Capt. Tom Greene's 'new vision' for the GREENE LINE and his DELTA QUEEN.

I often consider what could have happened if the GREENE LINE had purchased the then still relatively new big CINCINNATI for river cruise service. This I mentioned in my article featured in the S&D REFLECTOR. The CINCINNATI issue clouded by the Great Depression, failure of the L&C LINE and her need for repairs, renovations, size, operating expenses. People often mention the CINCINNATI being just a few years older than the then new DELTA KING/DELTA QUEEN. Others in the know opine the DK/DQ possibly better built. Anyway, the possibility of the grand CINCINNAT surviving down to relatively recent years an intriguing possibility. Who knows? I know I don't know.

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

Ron Anderson 09-10-2016 11:32 AM

Looks like the woman seated in the foreground is saying something like "Don't you take that tone with me!"


R. Dale Flick 09-10-2016 01:15 PM

*RE: Woman pointing her finger/Dour look on her face*
Steamboating colleagues:
Ron, that was a 'goodie' and I'm still laughing over it here. Perhaps she is shaking her finger at her dining table companion with, "Don't take that tone with me!" or possibly, "Look, this is how I fry my cat fish and hush puppies at home." The man in the suit next to her looking down dour in his plate possibly saying, "Beulah, that's enough of that. Eat your cat fish here and shut up." That 'gray hair' crowd on the GOLDEN EAGLE then not much different from what we saw on the DELTA QUEEN, MISSISSIPPI QUEEN, AMERICAN QUEEN and now new river cruise boats. Cheers!

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

Jim Blum 09-10-2016 03:15 PM

The visible part of the table legs appear to be rather thin, maybe pipe? Were they folding tables? Storage being at a premium I suspect--don't know of course on that boat. Could those tables be hinged on the bulkhead and folded up when not in use? It appears that just maybe if they were folded up against the cabin bulkhead the one just past the handle of the axe would fit just below on behind the highest part of the axe handle and leave room for the watchman to punch the clock key which looks like the holder midway below the axe handle might contain..................I 'fer sure don't know.

R. Dale Flick 09-10-2016 03:46 PM

*'Folding tables on GOLDEN EAGLE:
Steamboating colleagues:
Jim, good point RE: possible "folding tables" on the GOLDIE and I think you are right. I also looked sharp but see, so far, NO evidence of any sprinkler system, wall fire extinquishers. The same arrangement on the GORDON C. GREENE with tables folded up without a lot of work stowing conventional tables. The GORDON's cabin inside was also something of a tight squeeze for evening entertainment, costume parties etc. Some old movies show big Mardi Gras parties on the GORDON.

Woody Rutter, Capt. Fred Way's son-in-law, recalled vividly how the cabin stewards, maids, some kitchen help always ate their meals first and early at a long table in the rear of the GORDON's cabin before the gong sounded bringing in the general passsengers. Dining room of the huge sidewheel CINCINNATI of 1924 spacious, open with standard tables for two up to larger groups. Photos can often deceive but on the CINCINNATI there was enough room between tables you could have rolled bowling balls.

The boats with the really beautiful cabins were those of the famed ANCHOR LINE. All their tables, chairs white and gold with the anchor monogram and, when no meals in progress, were artistically arranged or angled with each other. Long tables covered with plush table covers like tapestries. Ah, those were the days considering all. Hey, what's for dinner tonight?

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

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