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    #16
    Doc on paint schemes

    Just talked to Doc about my rescheduled trip to NOLA, so I read him this discussion about boat paint. As someone said he'd know in an instant, you were right: they got AVALON paint from Louis H. Bolse Co. I'm not sure of that spelling. Bolse was an AVALON stockholder, so the price was right. Ernie Meyer got stockholders in various needed businesses, like paint and printing, in order to get deals. Doc also said the white wheel was white spokes and green bucket boards. The GCG's wheel was red. He said that older boats' wheels were creosoted or splashed with red lead, not paint, so that could account for some of these varied color shades in unearthed pix.

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      #17
      *RE: Doc on paint schemes*
      Dear steamboating colleagues:
      Judy nailed the information just right pursuing 'steamboat forensics' with Doc Hawley. I knew he'd have the information and insights. Yes, BOLSE CO. here did have close relations with the AVALON and Ernie Meyer as Doc and Judy point out. Just checked my Cincinnati Business Diectory but see no current address/entry for the former BOLSE CO. Very clever from a business and political point of view on his part. I'm still vague but 'think' paint for the DQ possibly for a time was PORTER PAINT.

      Many of us here recall the old days prio to the current 'Green Revolution' with concerns on environmental hazards. That old red lead was good stuff but toxic as we've all found out now. Same case with asbestos used in vessel insulation for years. Any of you who've ever had the experience of accidentally dropping a full can of aluminum or oil based paint off a boat or dock into the water know what an experience it can be! That stuff spreads like wild fire for hundreds of feet on the surface.

      Fred Way once wrote/commented that it was easy to identify the house of an old steamboat engineer, mate or officer just by walking up and down the streets of a river town. Their houses were usually neat as a pin with porches, steps, railings etc. painted like the decks inside a steamboat engineroom. Cheers!

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

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        #18
        In keeping with what Dale just wrote, Capt Joe Hughes, long time BELLE pilot after his retirement from Valley Line, lived a couple of blocks from me and his house was always neatly trimmed in Valley Line blue. Not sure whether he was fond of the color or the paint just found its way to his house from the boats.

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          #19
          Chief Engineer Courtney M. Ellis once painted the front porch of his home to resemble a steamboat engine room. His wife was away on a trip at the time and his project did NOT survive her homecoming!

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            #20
            blue paint

            I've heard about Fred Way's superstition about blue paint on a boat. What was that all about?

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              #21
              *RE: Blue Paint On Vessels*
              Hi, Mike & steamboating colleagues:
              You're right RE: Fred's comments on the superstition of "blue paint" on steamboats--and other vessels. Several years back this was quite a discussion on Steamboats.org with insights from posters. There are scores of such accounts as mariners for untold centuries have been the most mystical and prone to these beliefs to the point of 'magic.' How the 'blue' came about I can't recall now. This also prevailed on ocean ships until recent years but has faded into the folklore--with some old sailors still holding out. 'Red' was another suspect color. Even today big cruise liners, like buildings ashore, won't have the No. 13 indicated on elevators as passengers and crew shrink from it. Can any of you remember and post others?

              GREENE LINE Purser Bob McCann also harbored the old belief that you turned your back for a time watching a boat/ship steam out to ward off bad luck. I thought it pretty quaint on his part until I viewed a group of older Italian sailors do the same when a big Italian passenger liner pulled out from the pier in Genoa, Italy with them crossing themselves and mumbling. Another old tradition was for sailors/boat crews to toss any items they had from a vessel watching it head for the breakers or sinking to divest themselves of bad luck or 'spirits.' Well, what do I know?

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

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                #22
                Stored bucket boards

                Here are some shots from the UMR of paddlewheel pieces stored and ready to go.
                1) from the I-280 bridge as the DQ heads upstream 2007
                2) the AQ from the I-280 bridge 2007
                3) the AQ from Lock 15, the next year Since the roof was used for passenger space on the AQ and MQ, spare boards were stored on the fantail.
                Attached Files

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                  #23
                  More boards, etc.

                  1) The MQ in Lock 15 1980s
                  2) Mel mentioned standing on the pilothouse roof to check bridge clearances. Here is an example of that as the MQ approaches the I-280, with a pool clearance of 62.5 ft, but obviously a higher stage here, 2006.
                  3) sigh.............
                  Attached Files

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                    #24
                    That pilot house looks so out of place. I miss those old days of having the Deck and the Gazebo right down in front and the old Carbon Arc lights, changing Carbons in the middle of a windy night, cleaning a set of guts with Brasso and mop string. It looks like the PH is tucked back amongst the cabins.

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                      #25
                      My years of interest in the rivers and the boats started in about 1935. At that time I would say 98% of sternwheels were painted red with white steel parts. Then the boats did a lot of waiting for loading of barges, certainly enough time to repaint paddlewheels. Greene Line boats laid at the Louisville wharfboat from about six in the morning to five in the afternoon. Winter was when we saw unpainted wheel parts.

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                        #26
                        For a year or two the Avalon had signs painted on the bucket planks. One bucket was marked, "VISIT OUR," and the next was marked, "GIFT SHOP." Passengers got the message about 15 times a minute. The wheel was red and the lettering was white gothic.

                        Bertrand's paddlewheel was painted with red lead (bright orange).

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                          #27
                          There was a wide-spread superstition that blue brought on bad luck. The Louisville and Cincinnati Packet Co.'s sidewheeler housing tops were light blue according to Captain Jim Howard. Same for pilothouse domes.

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                            #28
                            *RE: Painting boat wheels when?*
                            Hi, Alan & Steamboating colleagues:
                            Thanks Alan for memories of Louisville landing and GREENE boats in port. Granted, with those hours laying there painting could be done more frequently. This not the case with the DK/DQ in California days. Both boats, upon returning to San Francisco from the Sacramento run, entered into the 'huckster trade' in and around the port picking up, dropping off cargo for the night runs. They had precious few 'down' hours in SF until sailing time. What few memories and accounts we have indications are the boats could have done wheel maintenance laid up in Sacramento during the day. Bottom line was/is if the wheels aren't turning then you aren't making any money. For some years a funny story has been passed around RE: a crew member painting one of the GREENE boat wheels and what happened when the man--bucket, brush and all--fell in the river. I won't repeat it here. Thanks for the below RE: Jim Howard's memories on 'blue paint.' Cheers!

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

                            Comment


                              #29
                              DQ Sign on the Roof?

                              Judy and others,

                              Today's question comes from the back of the SB 101 class near the windows. What was the purpose of the "backwards" DQ sign on the roof in Judy's bucketboard photo? Is this a left over artifact that found a home in that location?

                              And thanks for the "sigh" picture. Hard to believe that it has been 15 years since my one and only trip on DQ. Ahh, what fun it was.

                              Best to all of my friends on .org

                              Wesley

                              Comment


                                #30
                                DQ roof sign

                                I believe it was two-fold: to hide some piping or whatever, and to provide an overhead id, such as you saw in my picture - after all, you get lots of people pulling off into emergency lanes on an interstate bridge to take photos of boats passing underneath! And in 34 years of teaching, I found I needed to be suspicious of last row by the window scholars!
                                Originally posted by Wesley Paulson View Post
                                Judy and others,

                                Today's question comes from the back of the SB 101 class near the windows. What was the purpose of the "backwards" DQ sign on the roof in Judy's bucketboard photo? Is this a left over artifact that found a home in that location?

                                And thanks for the "sigh" picture. Hard to believe that it has been 15 years since my one and only trip on DQ. Ahh, what fun it was.

                                Best to all of my friends on .org

                                Wesley

                                Comment

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