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Judy Patsch 11-22-2006 04:01 PM

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I'm starting a new thread, for fear some people might be missing out on this topic. We've been having an interesting discussion about the ADMIRAL under the "Picture of the Week" title. Capt. Jim and Annie Blum, both longtime Streckfus and ADMIRAL crew members, have been enlightening us about her history, and several of us have been sharing our remembrances of this late great steamboat. Here are some pix of her under construction. The first one shows the old Streckfus double-decker machine shed/wharfboat?Jim???. The second one shows the steel panels which Jim has pointed out (and I mistakenly thought were of aluminum), and the third picture, taken by Joy Manthey's uncle is really interesting: its the end of one era and the beginning of the next. On the left is the WASHINGTON as she is being dismantled, then the ADMIRAL under construction. If you look below the Eads bridge, you can see the PRESIDENT and two other boats below her. The one next to the PREZ must surely be a Streckfus, but I'm not sure which one.

Judy Patsch 11-22-2006 04:35 PM

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The first one is early '60s, pre-Arch. It looks like it must be the beginning of the season, with the fresh paint job on the decks and the crew putting up the umbrellas on the tables. This one certainly shows her broad width. The second one is from BelleRive sp? park, taken in 1943. The third one, which I took, shows the GOLDENROD and BECKY THATCHER below the ADMIRAL. This was taken on an historical occasion: my first trip on the DELTA QUEEN, Aug. 20, 1973 at 1 PM as we went under the Eads Bridge. It was a State Bank of East Moline charter so we left at 12:30, because that's when Dick Billings wanted to leave! Talk about a quick turnover day!

Judy Patsch 11-22-2006 04:52 PM

and even more ADMIRAL pix...
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The first one is in her last dieselized days of 1978. The second shows one of the highly-publicized art deco ladies rooms, and the third I took in July 1961. I don't know who the calliopist is, but as Keith has pointed out, that was the CAPITOL's calliope....

Wesley Paulson 11-22-2006 05:09 PM

Admiral Calliope?
OK, for the umpteenth time, but where is the calliope now? Is it still on the boat, but missing some whistles, or do I have that confused with President?


Bob Reynolds 11-22-2006 06:27 PM

Thanks, and more questions...
Thanks for the postings, Judy. Some on this board may not know that the Streckfus's tore down the ALBATROSS and built the ADMIRAL without going near an established shipyard, an amazing feat. Similar, in a way, to what Capt. Tom Meanley did when he built his boats, as we discussed on this board last month. The Streckfi did it on a MUCH larger scale, though!

One question I have concerning those powder rooms: With all that frou-frou and tassels on the stools, etc., what did that entail as far as cleaning went? Capt. Jim already said the men's rooms were utilitarian, and we all know how excursionists can trash the rest rooms (especially on teenage dance cruises and fraternity trips!), but did the ladies have more respect for their surroundings? I would think it would still have been a nightmare to clean.

Judy, your mention of Dick Billings brought back memories. For those on here who don't know, Dick Billings ran Tri-State Bank Travel Tours out of the bank of the same name in East Moline, IL for years. They had their own fleet of busses, and took all kinds of tours and chartered the DELTA QUEEN for a block of time each year and ran trips on the Upper Mississippi ranging from 2 to 5 days in length. These would seem to be odd embarkation and debarkation points to steamboaters today: trips like Davenport to Dubuque, Dubuque weekend, Prarie DuChein to St. Paul and such. It was really a good deal for the consumer, as it gave people a chance to take a short trip for a reasonable amount of money. Many fell under the DQ's spell this way and it was a great way to introduce them to the wonderful world of steamboating. Is Dick still living?

Ann Blum 11-22-2006 07:00 PM

Dear Judy, Annie Blum here. Many , many thanks for the fantastic pictures of the Admiral. I am envious as I have no old pictures in my "collection".

Shipyard Sam 11-22-2006 07:44 PM

Steamers Service Company?
Here's an interesting quote from the Streckfus Steamers magazine of the time:

"A giant, air-conditioned, streamlined excursion boat--said to be the largest ever built for that use on American inland waterways--will be placed in service here next June by Streckfus Steamers, Incorporated. The vessel, a departure from conventional riverboat design also in that it is free of exterior decorative "gingerbread", is 374 feet long-more than a city block-and has five decks, two of which are air-conditioned and three open. Its steel hull is divided into 74 compartments, as many as 11 of which may be flooded with the boat still remaining afloat, according to the company announcement, [U]made on its purchase of the vessel at an undisclosed price, from its builders, [I]Steamers Service Company[/I]. [/U]The steamer had been a 'mystery boat' during the two years it was under construction here. No name has been chosen for the vessel, but Capt. Joe Streckfus says there will be an official christening ceremony in the spring."

Was [I]Steamers Service Company[/I] a way for SSI to take money from one pocket and place it into another? Everything done above board, I'm certain, and surely a sound business maneuver.

Dan Maguire 11-22-2006 08:33 PM

I think that there is at least some possibility that the two Streckfus boats below Eads Bridge may be the JS Deluxe and the St. Paul since the presence of the Washington would indicate that the photo was taken in either late 1938 or early 1939 since Admiral entered service in 1940. The third boat downstream from Eads may be the Golden Eagle.

Judy Patsch 11-22-2006 08:58 PM

Yes, I'm thinking it might be the SAINT PAUL/SENATOR next to the PREZ, as the JS DELUXE had the narrower bow in later years. The WASHINGTON was dismantled in '38, the JS in the winter of '38-39, and the ADMIRAL was built from '38-40. The CAPITOL was dismantled in '45. Since they did the dismantling above the Eads, my guess is that's an active boat, hence the SAINT PAUL/SENATOR. Wouldn't that have been a neat sight to see all those boats there at once?

Bob Reynolds 11-22-2006 09:06 PM

Sam, I'm gonna bet "yes", that it was a subsidiary. Maybe the Blums can tell us. Capt. Tom Dunn, are you lurking out there?[I][/I][I][/I]

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