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Alan Bates 12-10-2006 12:35 PM

Picture of the Week
My candidates for the boats shown are: the most distant one may be the Fleetwood of 1864. The nearer boat could be one of: General Lytle, General Buell or Major Anderson. It strongly resembles the General Lytle. I am not betting a cent on any of these.

R. Dale Flick 12-11-2006 12:54 PM

Dear Alan & steamboatong colleagues:
The 'Pic o' the Week,' Cincinnati landing, 1866, is a classic. Alan Bates may have a better handle on identifitying the beauties tied up in this scene. Anyway, this photo is bound to elicit more ideas and steamboat 'forensics.'

Now, let's see. The center wharfboat serves the old U.S. MAIL LINE as evidenced in other photos and drawings of the period. Lots of activity with wagons bearing freight for loading. One or two human figures in evidence. Hard to tell what season of the year but river obviously at a decent pool. What amazes me about these similar photos is the way freight was dropped so close to the water's edge. No doubt, with boats leaving with such regularity, it didn't remain there long. Records indicate that such wharfboats did allow landing by steamers in other trades if their own vessels were not in port--on a commission basis, naturally.

The hills in Covington on the far side appear to have some trees but slopes pretty much denuded. Not clear enough to see if leaves on trees. I've sleuthed but can't find evidence of any pier work for the Roebling Suspension Bridge. Time of day? Possibly mid to late afternoon with the smoke billowing from the steamboat stack and the slant of shadows on the upper decks. Probably within hours of sailing time. Who knows?

R. Dale Flick

Alan Bates 12-12-2006 04:44 AM

Dale, the photographer and his tripod were standing on the suspension bridge pier.

R. Dale Flick 12-12-2006 08:28 AM

Hi, Alan:
Thanks for info Re: photographer standing on the pier of the Roebling Suspension Bridge to catch that remarkable shot. I'd forgotten that after the bridge was completed [Cables and deck] many of the big U.S. MAIL LINE boats and others laid below the bridge due to lack of clearance for their tall stacks. Closer photo analysis of the first boat shows a number of people standing at the bow by the rails. Wonder if they knew the 'pitcher man' was focusing down on them?

Humble question: Any chance the boat lying further down the GENERAL BUELL? [WAY'S DIRECTORY Entry No. 2231 Pg. 179].

Cheers, R. Dale Flick

Alan Bates 12-12-2006 09:23 AM

I based my guess for Fleetwood on the pilothouse roof trim, the open dome. At the very best my guess is just that - a guess. The nearest boat may be the Gen'l Lytle before she exploded her boilers. Later, she had shorter stacks. That, too, is a guess.

Alan Bates 12-12-2006 09:35 AM

I got out my Reflector for December, 1981 and on page 18 the Gen'l Lytle shows plainly. The boat in the foreground is NOT the Gen'l Lytle. In fact, neither of the boats in the Picture of the Week has railings like the Lytle. Also, the Lytle had a false, or open, pilothouse dome. Another picture of her is on page 27, March 1966 Reflector.

Alan Bates 12-12-2006 09:47 AM

The June, 1990 Reflector also has a picture of Gen'l Lytle on page 38. The Reflector has no picture of the Gen'l Buell other than that half of her shows in this view. The Steamboat Photo Company list (Way's Directory, 1950 edition) does not list General Buell. The only chances to find one are in Dale's dusty boxes or the Murphy Library.
That half-view indicates that the two generals were very much alike.

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