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    The Jacob Strader

    Can anyone post a picture of the Jacob Strader? I knew of this boat from my years of membership in the Ohio Valley Chapter of ATOS between 1974-1982.

    Jack and Joan Strader owned a large house with a WurliTzer theatre pipe organ in the Clifton area of Cincinnati and hosted a number of our meetings there. The Straders were also instrumental in the reinstallation of the former RKO Albee WurliTzer in Emery Theatre, of which I was a crew member.

    It was working on the restoration of this pipe organ which started my interest in Flue Pipe Acoustics, which led to my interest in steam whistle design and eventually to my interest in steamboats and steam locomotives.

    #2
    Hi, Richard:
    The Str. JACOB STRADER was some boat in her day. [See WAY'S PACKET DIRECTORY Entry No. 2915 Pg. 239 for the particulars and the big 'bio' Fred Way gave her.] She was touted as 'low pressure' carrying 30 psi or less with condensing engines.

    The late Dorothy Frye produced an incredible painting of the STRADER for Jack and Joan Strader. It hung in the 'Strader Room,' University of Cincinnati until removed to the Cincinnati Historical Society. Rick and M'Lissa Kesterman, now with the Society, have mounted a fine display of Cincinnati and the river featuring this painting. I've a 'link' to the Rare Books/Inland Rivers collection I can send you and in it is a period photo or Daugerreotype of the STRADER docked in Cincinnati's East End. I believe Fred Way also featured another photo of her in one of the S&D REFLECTOR issues years back. I'll have to dig in my copies and the index for the issue. Alan Bates and Bill Judd are quick with the indexes and, perhaps, can post what issue it is. Dorothy Frye's paintings are marvels for the eye. She did a number for private hands and some are now in museums like the Howard Museum, Jeffersonville, In., and the Ohio River Museum, Marietta, Oh. Dorothy, in Capt. Doc Hawley's estimation, could paint a steamboat as it really was. Stacks and rigging looked round like they should and when you look at her paintings you can actually see inside of the deck rooms and boiler spaces. Dorothy was a dear friend of many of us: Judy Patsch, Keith Norrington, Bill & Darlene Judd on and on. She did a fine painting of the Str. AMERICA for Doc Hawley. Also of the DELTA QUEEN and veteran Bruce Edgington that hung on the DQ for quite a while. Are there others I've forgotten?

    'LLOYD'S STEAMBOAT DIRECTORY and DISASTERS on the WESTERN WATERS, 1856,' features a line drawing of the STRADER with several pages on the history of the U.S. MAIL LILNE, Jacob Strader and his investor/colleagues in the line. She was quietly dismantled in 1866 and never featured in any of the disaster portion of Lloyd's book. The STRADER and TELEGRAPH No 3 cost the line together in excess of $400,000. That was a lot of money in those far off days. Lloyd mentiones the company had almost "...unlimited capital."

    Jack and Joan's good works in Cincinnati are legendary. Jack, now deceased, was no slouch on the pipe organ. The addition added to their Clifton home houses the big Wurlitzer from the old Paramount Theater in Walnut Hills. You've done good work in your own right on these projects.

    Cheers and thanks,
    R. Dale Flick

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      #3
      Thanks Dale. Are there still any low pressure steamers around? If they need a louder whistle I could design one specifically for the pressure. Most whistles are not designed to blow very loud at pressures below 50 PSI.
      Last edited by Carmen; 12-07-2006, 02:33 AM. Reason: unnecessary quoting

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        #4
        Dear Richard:
        'Low pressure steamers around?" That's one for Alan Bates, Tom Schiffer, Bill Judd and others to answer. My 'techincal knowlege' ends with a paint brush and lawn mower. I doubt it. I, too, wonder how the touted 'low pressure' boats worked. JACOB STRADER was condensing.

        Somebody posted not long ago here that higher steam pressure didn't come along until the advent of stronger metals for boilers etc. I 'thought' this around the 1870s. The British boat/ship builders mention around 1878 over there. Who knows? The whistle connection to 'low steam' is a good question. Perhaps Keith or Travis would have a lead stemming from calliopes etc.

        Cheers,
        R. Dale Flick

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          #5
          Here is a photo of Dorothea's painting of the JACOB STRADER. As to her other paintings, I've started a new thread about them.
          Attached Files

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            #6
            Thanks Judy! That would make for a great future "Picture of the Week".
            Last edited by Carmen; 12-08-2006, 02:24 AM.

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              #7
              From the picture of the Jacob Strader, the boilers seem to be visible from the outside. Does anyone know if that was the case?

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                #8
                Dale: the answer to the "low pressure" question is somewhat simple...area of the piston...You remember the engine room of the Delta Queen which has cross-compound engines. Steam from the boiler goes to the starboard engine which is 26" in diameter...the exhaust from there goes "across" to the the low pressure engine which has a 52" diameter piston...the steam pressure is now much lower but it has four times the area to push on giving about the same thrust to the paddle crank (twice the size equals four times the area). You can bet that the low pressure engine on the DQ cost several times as much as the high pressure engine. In a low pressure boat, both engines would likely be of huge and costly size. If they condensed the steam out of the cylinders, the engines would be exhausting into a vacuum of, say, 10 psi. If the steam pressure from the boiler to the engine was 30 psi, exhausting into that vacuum would give a similar effect to upping the steam pressure 10 psi and a real boost in efficiency and power. When the engine exhausts into the closed condenser, 1700 or so parts of steam suddenly become one part of water due to the cooling of the steam until it becomes water again. Where 1700 parts used to occupy space in that closed condenser, there is now only one part and that creates the vacuum that helps things along considerably. Low pressure machinery is bulky, HEAVY, COSTLY and uses low pressure steam which is lower in efficiency than high pressure steam due to more condensation in the big, long cylinders and other factors. It takes lots more steam VOLUME to push that piston back and forth than when using the expansive power of high pressuer steam. I think that you will find that high pressure engines preceded low pressure engines IN WESTERN RIVERS STEAMBOAT SERVICE. It is true that better, stronger materials made boilers safer with high pressure steam. But so did better knowledge of how to safely run...and, licencing engineers. I have read that there were NO steam gauges used until about 1850! WOW! Little MISSIE has a similar steam plant to DQ only she is a fore-and-aft compound, condensing. She runs at 63 to 120 pounds on the high pressure side and about minus ten psi in her condenser. She cab cruise at between five and just above six mph.

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                  #9
                  Don't forget - high and low are polar words. A high pressure engine in 1815 was a low pressure engine a few years later. In general, low pressure engines depended upon a condenser to create a partial vacuum. High pressure engines could work with or without a condenser. High pressure today is in steam-electric generating plants. Pressures in the 800 psi range and with 1,000 degrees of superheat are more or less common. These are probably low numbers for an atomic plant.

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                    #10
                    Richard, Tom alan & gang:
                    Thanks for the insights on 'low pressure etc.' Starting to fall into place for me here. I'm slowly moving up the ladder from paint brush and lawn mower. Judy's posting of Dorothea Frye's painting of the JACOB STRADER gives us an insight on boat construction at that particular time.

                    Richard, the question about the STRADER's boilers being somewhat on the 'outboard' side is interesting. I'd never thought of that before and refreshing my memory in looking at the painting also makes me think the same.

                    I do know that for years the big walking beam sidewheelers on the East Coast, Hudson, Great Lakes etc. etc. did mount their boilers well out on the guards [Early days to roughly 1870s]. You can see their rounded tops and housing in old paintings and photographs. I 'thought' I'd read that in the early days this was done out of fear for and a precaution in case of an explosion. Thinking was if the boiler(s) when BLAM! the force of the explosion would radiate out and up. No doubt wishful thinking. Accounts related that blast born wood splinters and debris were just as deadly as the steam itself--not to mention hot coals being showered through the boat causing rapid fire spread. Not a good day for the 'souls' aboard.

                    *This is off the subject Re: inland rivers steamers, but I've a fine book here by Bob Whittier titled, 'Paddle Wheel Steamers and their GIANT ENGINES,' Seamaster, Inc. 1987. Bob's book shows picture after picture of boilers mounted outside of the superstructure. This changed in time with them being mounted inboard. Another consideration beside explosion threat was added deck space midships for cargo etc. Lots to consider here. John Fryant may also have some keen insights from the views as an artist and model builder.

                    Cheers and thanks to all for the data,
                    R. Dale Flick

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Engineers, naval architects, crews, owners and the public came up with a shock when several of those low-pressure boilers exploded and caused just as much damage as the high pressure ones. A common five quart household pressure cooker at, say 20 psi has enough latent energy to remove the wall of a house. That's why you should not diddle with that little weight on the top.

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                        #12
                        Although some engines were designed for low presssure, most steam whistles were not. Lunkenheimer and Kahlenberg do not even recommend operating their whistles at less than 50 PSI, which is considerably greater than the pressure that was used on the Jacob Strader. The result is that most manufactured whistles would have sounded rather weak on a boat such as this. If such boats were still in use today, the whistle would be replaced by an air horn to comply with current safety regulations.

                        I have spent years researching the effect the scale and cutup have on a steam whistle's operating pressure and output and have several patents resulting from it. You can see the results of my research at http://rjweisen.50megs.com

                        A whistle's acoustical output depends much more on flow than the actual pressure. A loud steam whistle requires roughly 100 CFM/inch in diameter. As long as you can deliver the flow rate, you can achieve the output normally achieved only at much higher pressures at a relatively low pressure, such as that used on the Jacob Strader. Whistles designed in this manner use much less input power for a given acoustical output. This translates to higher efficiency. Do you really want a whistle that requires several hundred of your boiler's horsepower or one that uses only a fraction of that, but still produces the same amount of sound?

                        If more people were aware of this simple fact, you would see more whistles and less air horns on newer boats and preserve the sound of the past.
                        Last edited by Carmen; 12-08-2006, 02:24 AM.

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                          #13
                          One of the most important commidities on a modern diesel towboat is compressed air. A good engineer will do everything possible to protect his air supply. Compressed air operates the engine controls and the clutches...let air pressure drop and you start burning clutch tires. At $10,000 a tire and a boat out of commission for many hours while clutch tires are replaced, simple compressed air is an extremely valuable item.

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                            #14
                            STRADER photo

                            When I read your posting, I remembered to have seen a photograph of the STRADER, but couldn`t remember WHERE. I went through my www.bookmarks and tried. Here is the URL:
                            http://dmc.ohiolink.edu/developweb/h...ils?oid=742104

                            For some reason the enlargements of the pictures do not work anymore (on MY computer).

                            Greetings from abroad,
                            Bernd

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks for finding the photo. I believe it would make a great future "Picture of the Week" if it can be enlarged. It's really neat just how much river history can be found in and near Cincinnati. I grew up and spent my first 35 years in this area, which is also the home of Lunkenheimer whistles and valves, which are seen on a number of our favorite steamboats. Lunkenheimer is also one of very few companies who still make them.
                              Last edited by Carmen; 12-18-2006, 01:18 PM. Reason: Quote removed.

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