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DELTA QUEEN trivia.

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    DELTA QUEEN trivia.

    So this questions was posed on Facebook, but I know there are some very knowledgeable folks here on the DELTA QUEEN who do not use facebook and I wanted to give them a chance to try and shed some light on this question.

    Does anyone know the reason why Tom Greene didn't rename the DELTA QUEEN? Seems like most of the other steamers they bought second hand received a family name with "Greene" somehow incorporated. The DELTA QUEEN retained her name and has become a brand all of her own. She even retained her original whistle....a feat few steamers can claim. I know Tom Greene tried a few other whistles on her, but always went back to that big ole Lunkenheimer we all love so well. So does anyone know...whats in a name?

    #2
    *What's in a name? Plenty!*
    Steamboating colleagues:
    Phil, your post an intriguing question in the above with your heading 'DELTA QUEEN trivia.' I don't know much, but here's what I do know. Capt. Tom R. Greene discussed June, 1946 with Capt. fred Way, Jr., aboard the GORDON C. GREENE on his thinking about the dual twins DELTA KING & DELTA QUEEN out in California with "I'm thinking of having one of 'em---maybe." Other sources close and off the record also heard mumblings about "...maybe both." Both names DELTA KING & DELTA QUEEN even then were iconic with just the right sound, meaning appealing to Capt. Tom's 'new' thinking for GREENE LINE STEAMERS--and he was thinking modern--going so far as to employ the term "luxury liner" for the boat. The company had always been called GREENE LINE STEAMERS and not GREENE LINE STEAMBOATS. The big push and accent on 'Steamboat' came later with Betty Blake's promotion of then emerging 'nostalgia' in imaging and marketing. Betty was reminded more than once about passing off a 1920s 'flapper era' boat with some Art Deco features as a Mississippi River cotton boat. Tough talk but true.

    Capt. Tom did consider changing the boat's name once here on our inland rivers. Family custom had been to name Greene steamers after family members or with the variation of 'Greene': GREENLAND, GREENWOOD, GREENDALE, EVERGREEN, TOM GREENE, CHRIS GREENE, GORDON C. GREENE...even the idea of putting another 'e' in GREENLAND to GREENELAND. Capt. Fred Way recalled Capt. Tom joking with the names PARIS GREENE or GANGRENE. It certainly meant the company could save money using the DQ's present carved name boards etc. Linguist also expound on certain word sounds with syllables that ring and are short but with many exceptions as we know. Advertising executives, marketing experts known to sit for hours debating, writing, sounding out certain words, phrases, sentences, punctuation to get it just right.

    The name DELTA QUEEN stuck as it had since the boat was built with that certain ring to it along with being easily applied to the national promotion of the boat. The same question arose for the then new MISSISSIPPI QUEEN. Other names were suggested wide ranging with some excelent, others rather coy or silly. Travel/marketing experts told the company to stick with MISSISSIPPI QUEEN for marketing, logo purposes. Well, what do I know?

    R. Dale Flick
    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River Cincinnati

    Comment


      #3
      Dale, when I made the post I was hoping you'd chime in! Thanks for the insight! I always enjoy looking at the pre-Betty Blake era advertisements, especially the very first few seasons on the Mississippi and Ohio. No mention of old, historic or nostalgic. She was the "modern S.S. Delta Queen." Very fascinating study to see how the boat evolved, not only physically but from the marketing approach too!

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        #4
        Buyers Remorse

        I wonder if Tom Greene had a case of buyers remorse after he got the DQ on the drydock at Dravo when the enormity and expense of the project became apparent? From indications I've seen I think he must have.
        Why else would he have offered to sell the boat to the Coney Island people while it was still on the drydock?
        From letters I've read which Tom wrote to Jim Burns shortly after the boat went into service, it appears he may have "bitten off more than he could chew" because the boat burned a lot more fuel than Capt. Tom thought it would and he never thought about having to keep up steam during the winter. And in the early years he had a lot of trouble with the auxillery machinery. He even said something to the effect that he was not familiar with running "heavy, complicated boats" like the DQ.
        On top of that the public did not embrace his SS DELTA QUEEN the way he anticipated they would.
        Maybe he just lost interest in putting the Greene name on it.

        Comment


          #5
          *More DELTA QUEEN 'trivia'*
          Good afternoon, Phil and Jim,
          Jim, good points you made above RE: Capt. Tom's 'second thoughts' once he had the DELTA QUEEN on the ways at DRAVO, 1947. Letters and company notes mention concerns over rapidly mounting expenses..."pipe fitters, workers knocking off the job early...long delays etc." And the bills came fluttering down like leaves on an autumn gale. Sure, in the 'old days' there were big...really big...sidewheelers but totally unlike the "heavy, complicated boats" like the DELTA QUEEN. The GORDON C. GREENE [The company boat like the "goose that laid the golden egg" during World War II] was relatively simple, spartan in comparison. Capt. Tom knew the GORDON abounded in shortcomings for his new vision. Old GREENE LINE engineers and hands were dumbfounded with all the DQ's equipment, operation needs, attention/maintenance 24/7/52. As mentioned here some time ago, "Capt. Tom got a good case of luncheon indigestion" when he opened the first bill for fuel. Even in the winter laid up here for the season the DELTA QUEEN was fired up with steam to keep the boat warm, piping unfrozen. The company didn't just turn her off with all walking away until time to get her spruced up, cleaned up, running for the initial Mardi Gras cruise of the year. And even then it was dicey getting her ready with full bookings. It was still winter up here with the boat steaming to the sunny south. I never could understand who would think of running a river steamboat in the dead of winter. The Greenes learned that long ago sticking to their schedule of operation.

          John Burns, old Jim's son, told me here in my home where I'm sitting now, that when they were running the DELTA KING/DELTA QUEEN, and their other boats on the Sacramento, the local oil refinery declared a "big dividend" when the CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION CO. paid their monthly fuel bill. Coal in Claifornia in that area was rare but oil wells and refineries were all over. The 'C.T. Co.' used oil. Capt. Anderson, CEO of the C.T. Co. hired cheap, cheap, cheap--but fed the crews like kings. The hotel departments on both boats were crewed with between 12 and 14 Philipino men plus or minus, depending on demands of the season, who not only served meals in uniform but cleaned all passenger cabins and public rooms.

          *NOW A QUESTION OF 'TRIVIA.' For years as I recall there were etched in the fine wood deck of what became the DQ dining room [Later the 'Orleans Room'] carefully etched lines in the ironwood deck curving port and starboard. Who here remembers those etched lines in the decking and knows what they were for? There's a big SNICKERS BAR riding on this one.

          R. Dale Flick
          Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

          Comment


            #6
            Where to park the autos being carried on board.

            Comment


              #7
              *KEEERECK!*
              Capt. Bill Judd wins hands down the big SNICKERS BAR! Those etched lines on a curve port and starboard of the DELTA QUEEN's deck [Later the dining room later again named 'Orleans Room'] was for crew to park autos on the Sacramento River night runs for both DELTA KING/DELTA QUEEN, keep all in trim. Ummmmm, now let us think of another DELTA QUEEN trivia.


              R. Dale Flick
              Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati

              Comment


                #8
                Try this one:

                Just forward of the Pursers Office there is a curved section of wood extending down from the ceiling. This is the remains of what in the original deck plan?

                Comment


                  #9
                  The original bar. It was in the forward observation room.

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                    #10
                    Bingo!

                    And wasn't that forward room for smoking and men only? There were doors which enclosed the area.

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                      #11
                      I believe so. And there may have been only one door.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Here's a trivia question: In early 1958 the DQ was chartered by am major metal company and taken to Ravenswood, Wva. (the first time the boat really ventured north of Cincinnati, I believe) to shoot scenes with a young TV star. Questions...what company and what star and which TV show? Hint the star recently died.
                        A GIGANTIC Snickers bar for the correct answer.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Here's another trivia question. What is the name of the engineer who suggested to Tom Greene to put Reliance Eye High Boiler Water Indicators in the DQ's engineroom?

                          The winner will not get a Snickers Bar, but if they hurry up and come and get it, will receive an Aglamesis chocolate Easter egg. Any true Cincinnatian knows that any Aglamesis chocolate beats the socks off of a Snickers!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Could it have been Charlie Deitz?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If my memory serves me right it was The Kaiser Aluminum Corp.

                              Comment

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