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Ever had questions about Way's directories?

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  • Alan Bates
    replied
    Jon,
    I believe the Howard Museum may have a couple of Packet Directories. I do not know where to find a Towboat Directory. Try Amazon, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon Tschiggfrie
    replied
    Has anyone here had dealings with Ohio University Press and can speak to his or her experience with them? I have a question for them regarding the Way's Directories. As I understand, the books are still available though they are out-of-print.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alan Bates
    replied
    Jon,
    that cross-referencing insures that you will never read his directories from beginning to end. When I see the word "see" I go look, then wander through the book *like a goose picking corn in the moonlight,* from "see" to "see."

    *One of Fred Way's quotations.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon Tschiggfrie
    replied
    Capt. Bates, I too am beginning to appreciate the full extent of Capt. Way's devotion to these texts. In reading through them, I am consistently humbled by the sheer level of detail and cross-referencing that he included. They are a researcher's best friend!

    Leave a comment:


  • Hank Bloomer
    replied
    They are supreme examples of research and editing, and the standard by which all others are measured, but they do contain errata. I have found several. Still, as you say, we all owe him.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alan Bates
    replied
    Jon,

    has it occurred to you that Way's Directory could contain errata? Like every pioneer, he led the way through a lot of conflicting material. Later research by Way and others has managed to correct many of those errors. The miracle is that so much of it is dead-accurate and provable. We do not know how many hours he spent in libraries, newspaper morgues, listening to men older than he or reasoning through what he found. After that he was obliged to sift fact from fiction. Way's Directories are miracles within themselves. River historians owe him a vast debt of gratitude.

    He told me he started at age twelve or thirteen, writing the data he knew on 3" x 5" cards, one card per boat. He became interested in photographs of boats and collected everything he could find. His early directories are catalogues of the photo collection with descriptions of the vessels involved. That grew into Steamboat Photo company.
    Today's directories are compilations of those photo and file cards.

    There are many persons who could have done this - Fred did it!

    Leave a comment:


  • Bob Reynolds
    replied
    This practice continues even to modern times. Nashville Bridge built a popular line of towboats, but was either backed up with orders or was very expensve. Nabrico designs were (whole boats and various components) built by others, either under patent agreements or outright copies. Same in more recent years with Dravo and St. Louis Hip designs, after those yards closed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alan Bates
    replied
    Jon,

    things were not as cut-and-dried as you may think. Contracts by and between boat builders were common. Most boat builders did the hulls, but from there up much work was done by sub-contractors such as sheet metal, machinery, glazing, painting, carpentry, flooring, rigging. . .the list is endless.

    Occasionally boats were built by seemingly rival firms. For example, the Cape Girardeau (sternwheel) was built by Howard under a contract for Rees.

    Hulls were often towed from the yard to the sub-contractor. The Bertrand hull was built at Wheeling, but towed to Pittsburgh for the cabin. Its machinery was installed partly in Pittsburgh and partly in Wheeling.

    The J. M. White was built by Howard with the assistance of about 30 sub-contractors.

    James Howard married Rebecca(?) Barlow and David Barlow, her brother, was a competitor and one-time partner with Howard.

    Every sort of relationship - marriage, location, time, financing, convenience, river depth, materials, family, reputation - governed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alan Bates
    replied
    Jon a recess wheel was just that. A recess was built into the stern of the hull where the wheel was located. The advantage was that the hull had buoyancy on the side of the wheel to support its weight. This was also called a bootjack hull. Since it was in the center it could be called a center-wheel hull.

    Center-wheel more usually described a catamaran hull with the wheel between the two hulls.

    The biggest objection was that they did not steer as nicely as hulls with the wheel behind the transom.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon Tschiggfrie
    replied
    Yet another. My what one finds perusing the directories!

    Under the towboat A. R. BUDD, Capt. Way takes time to speak about her builder, Capt. J. M. Hammitt. A list states that among the boats he built were the VOYAGER, VOLUNTEER, CORSAIR, FALLIE, TORNADO, FRED HARTWEG, HERMANN PAEPCKE, ROBT. P. GILLHAM, SALLIE MARMET, T. P. ROBERTS, RIVAL, G. W. THOMAS, CHARLEY JUTTE, VULCAN, CRUISER, J. B. FINLEY, ROBERT RHEA, MENGEL BOX COMPANY, REAPER, R. J. ARMSTRONG, SENTINAL, COLLIER, STEEL QUEEN, JAMES Y. LOCKWOOD, DUFFY, C. M. PATE, S. B. GOUCHER, ROBERT McKINLEY, and HELEN WHITE.

    Upon looking at those boat entries, only the TORNADO, SALLIE MARMET, T. P. ROBERTS, and C. M. PATE list Capt. Hammitt as a builder. Some others list Marietta as the place of construction, which is indeed where the Hammitt Yard built boats. Several of the listed boats were built by the Axton Yard. However, I find it difficult to believe that Hammitt had any connection to Axton, given that Hammitt was the third generation of boat builders under the Hammitt name.

    Any insights?

    Leave a comment:


  • Shipyard Sam
    replied
    Can we throw "gravel snatcher" into that list? That was a term oft favored by Cap'n Harry Lowden, who knew his way around such stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon Tschiggfrie
    replied
    Here's another one: what's the difference between a "recess wheel" ferry and a "centerwheel" ferry? I'm guessing that they're the same, and this is another technicality of not keeping the terminology straight.

    Thanks to Capt. Bates and everyone who consistently and generously inform the uninitiated such as myself. I was once told that there are no stupid questions, but sometimes I sure feel like I'm asking something foolish! Thanks for putting up with me so graciously.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alan Bates
    replied
    No, Jon, there were few significant differences between "sand digger,"
    "sand dredge," and "dredge" even though there were many variations in size, machinery and digging apparatus. Dredge is the generic word for any vessel that digs into the bottom of the river. Dredges dug up whatever was there, sand, mud, gravel, coal, what-have-you. Once up the wanted materials were cleaned, graded and sifted for size. Foreign matter was removed and discarded. The wanted products were loaded into barges.

    Other dredges were used to cut channels through the riverbed for passage of vessels. Such dredges simply removed the excavated material to some out-of-the way place.

    Fred Way limited his study to self-propelled dredges.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jon Tschiggfrie
    started a topic Ever had questions about Way's directories?

    Ever had questions about Way's directories?

    Here's one of mine: in the Steam Towboat Directory, he lists classes of vessels, with no fewer than twenty options. Among these are "sand digger," "sand dredge," and "dredge." Is there a significant difference between these three?
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