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R. Dale Flick 07-12-2017 09:12 AM

*Unpainted sidewheels/wood/toilet facilities*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues,
I hoped, alas, Tom Dunn would have responded to this continuing thread on "painted or unpainted." Tom did E=Mail to me about the sidewheels on the ADMIRAL "not painted...wood replaced by 1/4th each year."

Tom also added that one time it was considered they cut a window in the bulkhead so passengers could look in, see the wheels rolling. Then he was shown eight pipes above the sidewheel which were outfall pipes from the ladies lavatory just above. The last ISLAND QUEEN also had outfall lavatory facility pipes that dropped directly down in the river just forward of the sidewheels. As a kid my dad yanked me in the lavatory with me terrified looking down, seeing bright light and the water rolling along. And THAT was a long time ago now. Who here now remembers the white porcelain chamber pots with lid put under the bunks of the smaller cabins on the DELTA QUEEN that had no toilet facilities? That's the way it was back then.

Summer: R. Dale Flick from the northern shores of mighty Lake Michigan.

Jim Reising 07-13-2017 09:10 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Outfall pipe from the ladies room on the CAPE GIRARDEAU is clearly seen on this photo. What is more mysterious to me are the buckets on the wheel.....look closely... are they on backwards????

R. Dale Flick 07-13-2017 09:58 AM

*CAPE's wheel buckets/'Outfall' pipes*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues,
Jim, thanks for the dandy photo of the crew men on the fantail of the CAPE GIRARDEAU showing the 'outfall' lavatory pipes. Any evidence when this photos was taken? As for her wheel buckets on on in reverse, I haven't the slightest notion not being versed in wheel assembly. HELP! Capts. Bill Judd, Jim Blum, Bob Reynolds and others. Steamboat lavatory outfall pipes directly into the river was they way it was until nearly to the last packet boats and steam tows running. Everything went in the river then with nobody knowing any differently. Remember when the DELTA QUEEN got a big citation, coverage in the national media with photos when she got caught dumping garbage into the river? Was Paul Underwood captain at the time? There survives old B/W photos of a big ANCHOR LINE sidewheeler on the Mississippi showing the galley crew outside the cook house on deck slaughtering, plucking chickens, ducks, cutting up beef and pork outside on deck dumping all the refuse and offal in the river.

I do know that when Capt. John Beatty had the W.P. SNYDER down at his yard for her first big renovation in 1987, he showed me also that her buckets and wheel rings were in reverse. Keith Norrington one really interested in the CAPE and may have some ideas of his own if he clicks in here. *I did try to look closely at other buckets on the CAPE in your picture not sure if the buckets were mounted on 'both sides.' Heck, I don't know.

Summer: R. Dale Flick on the northern shores of mighty Lake Michigan.

Jim Blum 07-13-2017 11:18 AM

Very, very interesting photograph indeed. The more one looks at it more questions surface after looking at other on line photos of the Cape G.

To give my opinion on the 'outfall' pipe(s) I don't believe the pipe shown is from the one or all 'lavatories'. Why: 1 it appears to be iron pipe by looking at the connector piece---probably filled with hot lead when fitted together. 2-the bracket holding the pipe to bulkhead appears to wrap around a large piece of pipe and if iron pipe it would be---in my opinion--the approximate size of iron pipe used in homes. 3-if my opinion is correct about size and composition why would the company use such a heavy item on the stern (other photos of the port side do not seem to show such a pipe. 4-with the 'lavatories' overhanging the stern bulkhead no pipes necessary to carry the outfall. Straight into the river via the wheel.

As to bucket planks. Wonder if what we see were "an experiment" at balance buckets. One side having been removed---however it does seem peculiar that the underside would remain. Other photos seem to show the buckets going all the way to the outer ring. It does not appear so here.

And last of all---for now----when did the crank break or a crack appear as there is a strap around the crank? A repair at some time apparently.

Frank X. Prudent 07-13-2017 03:01 PM

All good questions. I just wish Dad was around to answer them!

My question is did the CG/GCG have flush toilets? If so my guess is that all waste matter would have found its way into the river but not quite in plain site of everyone and at much less danger to anyone working in the wheel.

Bob Reynolds 07-13-2017 05:47 PM

All good questions, Jim and Frank. I wondered if that pipe may have been for other uses as well -- galley gray water, waste water from sinks in staterooms, etc. I don't know enough about the CG/GCG to say how those (and the bathrooms) were configured to say. Jim, might the wheel crank have been built that way originally? If the wheel and its buckets were being experimented with, might they have added the straps we see to beef up the whole operation? Questions, questions!

R. Dale Flick 07-14-2017 09:47 AM

*CAPE's wheel/Outfall pipes/Lavatories*
Morning, Streamboating colleagues,
Just as I hit 'Send' something went POOF! and I'm starting all over. "Questions, questions, questions" correct above RE: the CAPE's 'outfall pipes,' straps on the crank etc. and I have several plans of the CAPE--later GORDON C. GREENE--at home with one detailed plans by Capt. Alan Bates. Alas, all is sleeping quietly in Cincinnati until I return home next week for a week on business; then return up north here until Labor Day. The one who would know for sure would be the late GL Purser Bob McCann. Where IS Bob when we need him now?

Steamboat/ship spaces etc. changed through the years with additions, modernizations as we've seen aplenty on the DELTA QUEEN. Previously the lavatories were no more than privies on sternwheelers with gravity fall in the river to be thrashed, mixed by the wheel. That's the way it was then with nobody giving it a second thought. Sidewheelers dumped, as we know, ahead, in or behind the big wheel housings. No doubt the Greenes did modernization with flush lavatories, shower rooms on the GORDON as we see in plans. The GORDON's lack of cabin facilities, baths--among other features--part of what killed her after the DQ came into service. People in the old days had a different definition of 'privacy' or personal hygiene. Again and again in old letters and commentaries we hear, "Glad to be off the boat and home [Or in a hotel] for a nice hot bath, clean linen and clothes." Charles Dickens even groused during his American tour about "Sleeping on a shelf" meaning steamboat cabins with narrow bunks. Capt. Bill Judd, some of you and me, remember the days when boats, cities, towns dumped all lavatory/waste water/refuse directly into the rivers and tributaries. Streams were nothing more than open sewers. Believe it or not Typhoid Fever was still a threat well into the 1950s.

When ORSANCO [Ohio River Sanitation Commission] came along in the 1950s things changed rapidly for the better. The same issues for the Great Lakes are being addressed now. Some may complain all they want RE: regulations, controls, U.S. Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Public Health, EPA but without them think where we would be. Some people never like hearing the word "No." Again, I DO remember those days.

Summer: R. Dale Flick on the northern shores of mighty Lake Michigan.

Jim Blum 07-14-2017 09:52 AM

a little bit more e-sleuthing shows a photo of the St Louis Riverfront prior to any land clearing for the park development with the Cape Girardeau and several other stern wheel boats and what appears to be the St Paul.

This photo shows two sets of buckets one set below the wheel arms the other on top of the wheel arms, daylight clearly visible between the two. The other sets of bucket planks mounted in the conventional manner on top of wheel arms. Was she built with balance buckets like that? Maybe Keith can shed some light from the Howard archives/

Starboard crank not clearly visible, however the two sets of double buckets are on the aft side of the wheel close to the water. The photo in question shows the stbd. crank in the down position.

Another photo shows the port side of the stern with the crank banded as in the photo in question. Can one draw the conclusion that she was built that way---quite possibly.

As to the very original question: paint vs no paint. The photo Jim Reising posted which started this discussion seems to show that the metal ring visible is of a lighter color that the wood wheel arms and bucket plank. The fantail decking is appears lighter color also----however this could be just an issue with exposure to the negative as the day appears very bright with deep shadows.

R. Dale Flick 07-14-2017 11:49 AM

*Those wheel planks/'Balanced?*
Steamboating colleagues,
Thank you, Jim Blum, for your "sleuthing" RE: these elusive sternwheel buckets and other related bric a brac. IF and WHEN our John Fryant can click in and chime in he can enlighten us more with his research on paint schemes, colors, tones applied to steamboats--with the astounding revelations that not all steamboats were painted totally white. Some steamboats [stern and sidewheel] for the deep southern trade at times had upperworks painted an off white or buff color. But I'll not spoil John's good story and shut up here.

When a kid on/around 10 or so (c. 1952/'53), there was a veteran painting contractor in our old neighborhood on/around late 80s or 90 himself. He talked with my dad one day with me listening telling how he started his painting career with his dad and uncles as a kid at the old 'Cincinnarti Marine Ways' boat yards at Rookwood Crossing at old Eastern Ave. in Cincinnati. He mentioned painting the boats with a crew inside and out, fine lettering, signs etc. So he had to have started his work well before 1900 and earlier. I also vividly recall him mentioning the steamboat crews/cabin boys and chambermaids--usually all Black or some Irish and German--that served, cleaned, maintained the interior of the boats scrubbing, dusting, waxing constantly. "They washed the chandeliers and side light fixtures with vinegar and water," he mentioned. As mentioned, later letters, documents record statements that many of the streamboats not as clean, fresh, pristine as we think due to river smoke, dust, dirt, passenger wear and tear above and below on deck often termed an "illusion." Yet, old photos of packet cabins pretty impressive with white paint, carpeting, light fixtures, furnishings.

Summer: R. Dale Flick on the northern shores of mighty Lake Michigan.

Jim Reising 07-15-2017 06:41 AM question is why would a sternwheel boat need balance buckets? With the cranks set at 90 deg. and the engine valves set correctly there would be an even amount of power throughout a revolution of the wheel unlike a sidewheel boat with only one engine per wheel.
I know Jim Howard spent a lot of effort trying to reduce vibrations coming from the wheel. This strange bucket arrangement might have been some experiment to reduce vibration. Who knows? I sure don't.

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