Date: January 24, 2003 at 06:05:20 From: Keith Norrington, [22.214.171.124.nw.nuvox.net] Subject: Re: Steamboat fuels - cork life vests - IDLEWILD life float
Steve, Bill probably does have an old wooden life float with IDLEWILD stencilled on it. There used to be literally hundreds of them still on the boat, but the Coast Guard declared them illegal and ordered them removed. When the BELLE operated out of Cox Park during the construction of the horrible riverfront downtown which supplanted our historic cobblestone wharf, a lot of the old life floats were used as planks during times of high water to get from the wharfboat to the parking lot. I think many of them floated away! Quite a number of them do survive in various collections. I, of course, have one! I have two small ones from ADMIRAL and PRESIDENT made of balsa wood which are very lightweight. I also have one from the MISSISSIPPI, which is very heavy -- probably because she was a government boat and no expense was spared!!!