Str DELTA QUEEN

Delta Queen 2005

Str. DELTA QUEEN 29, October 2005. Photo by Author.

Vessel built 1925- 1927, Calliope built ?; All facts lead to after 1915.

The Str. Delta Queen was built as a Packet boat on the Sacramento River.  She did not feature a steam calliope in this guise, for it was unnecessary to advertise in this fashion for the type of operation she was involved with. 

When Capt. Tom R. Greene purchased the DELTA QUEEN in 1946 she was moved to the Ohio and Mississippi River systems and operated as a tourist boat, carrying no freight. 

A calliope was first considered for the boat in 1958 when the Simonton and Greene families banded together to continue the operations of the boat.  The new Chairman of the Board of Greene Line Steamers, Commander Edwin J. Quinby proposed the calliope to a very reluctant Mrs. Letha C. Greene, President of Greene Line Steamers and the widow of Capt. Tom R. Greene.  She felt the calliope would keep the crew awake and be a detriment to the public conception of the boat.  Cmdr. E.J. Quinby and Richard Simonton (majority stockholder of Greene Line Steamers) persisted for the calliope.  

Simonton had (with the assistance of Quinby and many others) started the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS) in 1958 and with the lack of space to put one of these instruments aboard their DELTA QUEEN, felt the calliope would become a more proper river-type of ballyhoo instrument for the boat. 

Finding the instrument in 1958 was tough for the pair, as no one was building new calliopes at the time.  They set out on several leads and most failed them.

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