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Carmen 09-24-2017 08:30 AM

I remember stories that the pitman arms of the DQ and DK were made by the German company Krupp. It has never been proved as there were no records at Krupp.

Hereīs another story I just read in the Swiss Dampferzeitung. The article is about the 160 year old steam engine of the current sidewheeler Stadt Wehlen (one of the nine sidewheelers of Dresden). The engine was built in 1857 by Ruston & Co in Prague. On August 9th, 2014 an engineer was cleaning the middle shaft of the steam engine and found an engraving "25/5 1927 KRUPP" near the airpump crank (sorry, thatīs my translation, hope it makes some sense). They did some research but again there was nothing to be found in the Krupp archive.

So obviously Krupp was building steam engine parts in the 1920ies. And again there are no records in the archives.

Maybe there is some truth in the story about the DQ and DK.


R. Dale Flick 09-24-2017 09:06 AM

*No KRUPP tie to DK/DQ*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues,
Carmen, you are right about no link or "records" from KRUPP Steel in Essen to building the DELTA KING/DELTA QUEEN for 'California Transportation Co.' Some years back I corresponded with KRUPP at the corporate headquarters in Essen. They in time kindly responded with a full letter, attachments showing the kind of work they did then and now. They stated, "We have no link to the so-called DELTA boats project for the Sacramento River. All of our records did survive the last war." They went on with a bit more but closed and ended the long-prevailing rumors and legends.

John Burns, son of old Jim Burns builder of the boats, drew a total blank to the point of surprise when I interviewed him here in my home in addition to phone calls, letter exchanges. "I was the 'legs' for my dad during the building of the boats and never once did he show me or tell of of any link with KRUPP. I saw what was being done to completion. That was something of a legend started by the big headlines in the Sacramento newspapers stating, "Components for the two new boats forged 'LIKE' a KRUPP cannon. Capt. Fred Way no doubt also misunderstood my dad when they talked."

I have the full transcripts and records here for shipping all components and hull plates from DENNY BROS., Dumbarton, Scotland. Also copies of the cable communications between Jim Burns and Maurice Denny at DENNY BROS. Again, only mention of components from them for the two boats. Jim Burns also is very diplomatic and circumspect in discussions via cable stating, "Remember, over here we have to be very careful of the United States Steamboat Inspection Service." [i.e. The Steamboat Inspection Service was breathing down Jim's neck.] CHARLES EVANS in San Francisco did, indeed, do much work in casting, milling, assembly of engine components for both DK/DQ. EVANS also served as the 'agent' in bringing in other components to the United States from DENNY BROS. No documents received show any mention by DENNY for work or costs between them and KRUPP. Remember, the beginning of the DK/DQ building really began in 1922 with that just four years following the end of World War I. Doubtful any contract would have been awarded then by DENNY or Jim Burns to KRUPP.

The DQ's one high pressure engine proved problematic with big trouble during World War II when replaced by the U.S. Navy. When I later mentioned this to DQ engineers, and they read the account in Stan Garvey's book, they said, "Well, now that explains why certain components were hard in getting to match and ship up when we did work on it."

The DELTA KING was from the beginning of the two-boat building project designated the 'flag ship' for 'California Transportation Co.' Though built near as close to "two peas in a pod," financial constraints did force some changes in use of materials on finishing the DELTA QUEEN. Yet, superior design, materials, construction count for the long life of both boats. DENNY BROS. also had the hull plates for both boats triple galvanized for durability. That worked but by early World War II deteriorated hull plates were found on the DQ needing quick replacement. Basically, this all I know or have in my possession with records, plans, exchanges of communication. Cheers!

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

Carmen 09-24-2017 11:10 AM

If their records are complete and nothing was lost during WWII itīs still some mystery why they donīt have any records of that part marked 1927 for the Dresden steamers. It must have been a replacement part as the original engine was built in 1857.

I donīt remember who told me but it can be an urban steamboat legend that the name Krupp is somewhere engraved on the pitman arms.


Bob Reynolds 09-24-2017 02:48 PM

Carmen, my thinking is that even if Krupp had something to do with the forged parts of the DK/DQ, the pitmans would not have been included, as they are made of wood. They do have steel straps on them, but the primary material is wood. Engine parts, or more likely the cranks and wheel shafts would have been the likely items made by Krupp, if in fact they had anything to do with them.

R. Dale Flick 09-26-2017 06:28 AM

*KRUPP, Dresden steamers, components*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues,
Carmen & Bob, the casting/forging KRUPP did at time the fabrication of the DELTA KING/DELTA QUEEN were being built was strongly disproved by their corporate office in Essen in the full letter to me with related documentation. They did send scan photos of work they did at the same time--1920s on--in other work not related stating, again, "Our records survived the war intact." I had to take them at their written word and evidence in documentation. And again John Burns strongly denied the KRUPP connection being around the work being and with his dad, Jim, during the building process. The DK/DQ building, fabrication were known then as "The DELTA boats project." The two boats big news for us in the U.S. then but nothing special for DENNY BROS. being just one more contract to finish.

In years traveling in Europe I saw/traveled on a number of the then 'vintage' steamers on the Rhine, Danube, Swiss Lakes with some KRUPP engines dating way, way back. Those I saw were more incline reciprocating types far different than the engines on steamboats here. This KRUPP question crops up now and then RE: the DK/DQ. In short, there were strong doubt then and now with evidence. I would also question Jim Burns and the 'California Transportation Co.' actually contracting, or having DENNY BROS. contract, outside of The United Kingdom for the work so soon following the events of World War I. DENNY BROS. had the capacity to not only build large ocean ships for companies like CUNARD with heavy castings and forgings but were pioneers in the building of fabricated or knock-down steamers for shipping all over the world. At one time their steamers on rivers in Asia were the largest fleets of steamboats in the world. Times when politics and economics run hand-in-hand. Again, what do I know?

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

Jim Reising 09-26-2017 08:33 AM

All I know is what Kenny Howe told me, when the DQ broke her paddlewheel shaft and they brought the DK's shaft to Jeffboat, Jeffboat sand blasted it down to bare metal. They found no Krupp markings anywhere on the shaft or pitman arms.

R. Dale Flick 09-26-2017 09:28 AM

*No KRUPP markings at JEFFBOAT*
Steamboating, colleagues,
Thanks, Jim, for adding the comments above according to what Kenny Howe saw--or didn't see. And he'd be the one to know. I think it was Kenny who commented about the DQ's high pressure engine "never wanting to ship up right" as it was replaced by the U.S. Navy in World War II. One navy veteran on the DQ then said, "The US. Navy paid more for that one engine than Capt. Tom Greene paid for the whole boat in 1947."

'Somebody' years back said they 'thought' they saw a certain metal engraving [But didn't say where on the DQ] representing a kind of "modified German cross." Fact is that in the U.K. the DARLINGTON WORKS also 'may' have had a part in milling some minor components or related equipment for both DK/DQ. The logo for DARLINGTON for years was that certain "modified German cross." Such representations pretty much a common logo. DARLINGTON just a few years later also played a big part in the work on CUNARD's mighty QUEEN MARY. Great Depression, labor issues halted work on the QUEEN MARY for several years until she entered service 1936.

No doubt the subject of the KRUPP link to the DK/DQ will go on and on. Basic evidence indicates no link. Again, possible legends and stories that never die. But at this late date what difference does it make? Other incline reciprocating steam engines I saw in operation on European rivers, Swiss lakes back then [1960s] were made by different companies along with KRUPP. Two I saw were triple expansion incline engines driving sidewheels. Cheers!

PS> Jim, are you settled back in Florida? Did your residence down there suffer any storm damage? Keep in touch by private E=Mail.

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

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