Steamboats.org Homepage  
  not logged in.
           forgot password?

BELLE OF LOUISVILLE Madison 2017

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 10-28-2016, 08:52 AM
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,551
Default

*Steamboat 'facilities' or lack of*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues:
Got that right, Judy and Frank. Even the last ISLAND QUEEN had potties dumping direct into the river adjacent to the big sidewheels. To a little kid it was frightening looking way down that pottie pipe seeing daylight and water sloshing along. And mom or dad had to yank me in there with no complaints on my part. Judy right about the then facilities on the AVALON. Steamboats way back then not always noted for cleanliness as we knew it later along with innumerable foul odors, infestation with bed bugs, vermin from cargo hauled just below the passenger areas. Fred Way mentioned bed bug infestations on steamboats he knew with the passenger cabins opened, crew using live steam in a hose line to kill the nasty little bugs in the beds, tongue-and-groove wall panels, floors. Wire door and window screens didn't come in until much, much later if used at all. Washroom facilities even on the big brag boats late in development. Early boats had just simple communal wash basins with the pottie hole mentioned above. Even washroom towels were used in common along with hair brushes and even tooth brushes...YUK! They did have soaps and some cleaning agents but chlorine bleach for domestic use didn't come along until just before World War I. Intense disinfecting done with sulphur candles, cabolic acid sprayed around, strong soap to hand wash surfaces.

Passengers cabins, until installation of electrical power plants aboard, forbid candles, oil lamps in cabins due to threat of fire. Light for passenger cabins came through the outside deck transom and the transom windows inside with the daylight or light from the big chandeliers. Later boats did have piping for gas to lights from a central gas generator. One old steamboat record mentions "gas to the boat delivered in barrels." I wonder of the "barrels" weren't a kind of metal tank like propane today? Piping of gas on big boats subject to movement, heaving an issue keeping the pipe joints from separating or breaks in the line. Same also later for hot/cold water, steam heat in passenger cabins, public rooms, main cabin. Some cabins, if lucky, had a crockery wash basin with pitcher on request with hot--usually tepid--water on call by the cabin boys or chambermaid. People 'bird bathed' unless later steamboats had central bath areas with showers or possibly a tub. Forget any thought of having personal laundry done if aboard for a longer trip.

Again and again letters, diaries mention "Home from the boat to a clean bed, linen, clean clothes...hot bath." What's that tell you? Yeah, those old steamboat days really wonderful, romantic, beautiful with banjos, singing, dancing, top hats, crinoline, jolly old captains, weren't they? Yeah, right. Well, what do I know?

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

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The BELLE OF LOUISVILLE'S 2016 Madison trip Judy Patsch Steamboats & History 2 10-20-2016 01:04 PM
BELLE OF LOUISVILLE Madison trip Judy Patsch River Talk & Cruises 0 12-15-2015 02:08 PM
BELLE OF LOUISVILLE in Madison Indiana Dave Morecraft River Talk & Cruises 15 10-21-2011 09:19 AM
BELLE OF LOUISVILLE visits Madison, IN inactive user 02 Steamboats & History 8 10-12-2010 11:11 AM
Belle of Louisville Madison Cruises 2010 inactive user 02 River Talk & Cruises 11 03-13-2010 02:47 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
All content on this site is copyright protected and may not be re-used without written permission.
Bookmark and Share