Thanks for the interesting discussion on fuels/oils etc. I vaguely recall you mentioning the incident involved in 'milling' the fixture for the boilers etc. What a difference just a little difference can make.
So, you earned your stripes cleaning the goo out of the tanks with kitchen knives? In the Navy I witnessed some young, unfortunate AB's being put to work cleaning the 'residue' [tons of human waste] out of navy ship compartments due to some error in mounting pipes at the yards.
To the shy E=Mailer here Re: 'steamboat romance.' It's a good question. Mark Twain, movies, novels ['Steamboat Gothic'] etc., etc., may have contributed to it. I certainly didn't intend to burst any bubbles of euphoria on the subject. A recent article I read mentions how the "...romance of an era seems to come in it's dying days and later in the revival of sentiment for a falsely perceived vision of events." Yet, there are many writings of the actual steamboat era that do give the present reader a hint of what the original witnesses saw and sensed that verged on 'romance.' I'll post more on this in time from original sources. Do let me know if these postings are of interest or just a waste of time here as a couple of other Internet web sites have approached me to post this with them.
I hold that the era was fascinating, colorful, intriguing, exciting etc., but certainly not 'romantic' as we've come to think today. Verily, I say, the topic is open for stimulating discussion.
R. Dale Flick