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A couple DQ tidbits..

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    I dug out some slides I took on the MQ while on a shakedown cruise in the Louisville harbor in the summer of 1976. I'd forgotten that the pilotwheel from the DQ was once mounted (on the ceiling) over the front stairway of the MQ with light fixtures between the spokes. The pilotwheel now resides in the Ohio River Museum at Marietta, along with the tall chair that Capt. Ernie Wagner always favored.

    As I recall, the decorative acorns on the corners of the DQ pilothouse appeared circa 1971 -- about the same time as all the giddy gaudy stuff around the cally-ope.


      DK's original stack

      Somewhere in this thread, or another recent one, someone asked about the DK's original stack. It was still in Isleton on the levee, still a storage shed last month. Can't be much of a shed, but the owners would not sell it to the folk's restoring the DK, so they had to build a replica. BTW, one of the folks I work with sometimes at the theater was one of the key carpenters on the DK restoration, and he has told me some real horror stories about the restoration. It's apparently a miracle she didn't burn down during the process!
      David D.



        I would love to see those MQ slides some time. Eventually, someone may notice she is gone and want to put together a compedium of her life...they may need that kind of information.

        She is a most interesting vessel considering the era she was concieved, the oddities of her design, and the way she ended up. Most think she did have the CinemaScope theatre she was designed with....she didn't.

        This is the first I have heard of the DQ's wheel being the centrepiece of the grand staircase. With her "less is more" school of design, it must have been quite striking. It wasn't on her for the maiden voyage (from the pics I have seen)....perhaps the USCG deemed it a fire hazard!



          Those old radial davits were still on the DQ during the time I worked on there in the 70's and 80's. The life boats on her at that time were not original, I think.


            Gone? Where did she go? Have I missed something? Despite her ungainly appearance and size, the part of the MQ that was underwater was perfect. Handling her was a piece of cake compared to the DQ, which, before the new hull, wasn't really all that bad, either. And I thought the DQ wheel was in some forward observation room or some such. I only worked on her 4 weeks so I don't remember her layout that much, although a lot of what happened those 4 weeks was memorable.


              Capt Lexie, we say that the Mississippi Queen is gone due to the fact that a good portion of her interior has been removed and not replaced. As she sits kinda forlorn in NOLA, word has it that she now has a real poblem with mold also. Rumors are far and wide about the cost to bring her back to a future glory, ranging up to, the largest rumor, $67 million dollars. Personally, I believe the cost to pretty her up is somewhat lower, actually a lot lower, but my quicky estimate is still a truckload of cash.

              The biggest of today's MQ problems came from the fact that the current owners thought they could command an extremely premium price for staterooms on what was to become their flagship, the American Queen losing the title to the NEW Mississippi Queen, and in the process the current owners ripped out a lot of the littler inside staterooms AND bathrooms to make the outside staterooms much bigger, UBER luxury. So to look at her now, today's potential owner is looking at big, BIG bucks to put all the smaller staterooms with bathrooms back in AND to return the walls that used to separate the inside staterooms from the outside staterooms. We, as the crazy group that we are, don't see that happening...hence, she's's boggling: doors, beds, toilets, showers, sinks, telephones, light fixtures, ductwork, thermostats, smoke detectors, sprinklers, mirrors, drapes, drapery rods, door keys, door numbers, ceilings and of course all the piping and wiring, *poof*...

              There is also the issue that her C of I is expired? Not sure what it takes in "changes" to get that back...but I suspect it's ugly...

              There used to be a thread here with a gazillion pictures of the Miss Q's interior as she stands now, not pretty...
              Last edited by Bruno Krause; 07-22-2008, 09:23 PM.




                When was the DQ's calliope inverted per say from how it used to be, where the larger whistles were on the outer ends and smaller ones in the middle, as where now its exactly the opposite. What was the motivation behind this and does it make a difference in the sound?



                  Thanks for the info. Sounds kind of sad, but look at the Delta King and all it went through and I guess is still going through. I take it that most of the machinery is there. That's important. And if someone ever does put in new guts, it would need a new Certificate of Inspection. However, as looks go, it is the ugly duckling, and will languish until the economic picture gets better. I recall that the MQ did have its fan club.


                    Hinges of Hades

                    That was certainly a thriller, trying to get that little hook into the eye on the cross piece atop the stack while braving the inferno issuing forth from what could have been the opening into Hell, itself. When we had to lower the stack before going into the lock on White River on the QUEEN's first trip up to Little Rock, the cable broke as soon as we raised that heavy steel stack about a foot high. It fell back all whopper-jawed, and we had to fish a come-a-long onto the spreader bar and the crank the handle with a steel pipe while braving the very hinges of Hades. It took forever, or so it seemed, and the lingering smells of hot, greasy, sulfurous fumes have never completely cleared out of my sinus cavities.

                    We called that "lip" atop the lower stack, the "bonnet", and the small crane the "jin (gin) pole". For a look at the old stack (with the beautiful WHITE crown), the counter-weight of the jinpole, and the bonnet, click on:

                    Willie and Buster's Whirlwind Tour of the World

                    You had to be very careful when standing on the bonnet while cleaning the crown, or attaching a guest whistle, for the ‘scape valves exhausted there, and the Pilots always forgot someone was standing near the whistle and would invariably blow it. Either event could have been a life changing, or stopping, event, so I made a habit of disconnecting the whistle-pull chain from the steam valve when I was up there, and more than once, an errant Pilot pulled the length of the whistle chain down onto himself when he forgot not to blow the Lunkenheimer.


                    A trespasser atop the bonnet also had to listen for the Pilot to ring the indicator for a slow, or stopping bell, for as soon as he did and the engineer closed off the steam to the engines, the pop-off valves would blow and to be on the bonnet, then, would have been a very unhealthy situation. But the view from atop the chimney bonnet was one of the best aboard the DELTA QUEEN, and in spite of the risks, I took advantage of those rare opportunities to climb onto that lofty perch and enjoy the scenery from a vantage point higher than the one seen from inside the pilothouse, or anywhere else on the boat except for the thin air atop the mast.
                    Last edited by Shipyard Sam; 07-27-2008, 01:24 PM. Reason: jas


                      Sam, you had to go 'fishing' in the stack on the July 1978 UMR trip, Ted's first as DQ Master. We stopped below the I 280 bridge about 3:30 AM for you to get the stack extension off. Several passengers had asked me to wake them when we were approaching the I 280, as we knew it was going to be a problem. They were awakened a full 3 hours early - you didn't get the thing off until 6:30 AM. I can still see you throwing your smoking gloves down to the roof several times. It was not an enviable job you had.


                        Ah Judy, but to be that young again atop the bonnet with the smoking gloves and burned fingers ... I'd give nearly anything to relive those glorious hours.