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Anyone familiar with Rees & Sons or the "Benjamim Guimarães" ?

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    Anyone familiar with Rees & Sons or the "Benjamim Guimarães" ?

    I've just got a request for help and information from a student in Brazil. She's researching the history of the "Benjamim Guimarães", a steamboat built by Rees & Sons probably in 1913 which amazingly is still existing and running on the San Francisco River in Brazil. So this immediately caught my attention, of course.

    Is anyone familiar with Rees & Sons and has any documentation about this specific boat?

    I have Jerry Sutphin's reprint of the Rees & Sons catalogue from 1913 but the only information I can find in there is two pictures with the capture "Fleet of Sternwheelers designed and constructed by this Firm, assembled at Para, Brazil" and these boats look pretty similar to the "Benjamim Guimarães".

    I would be great to positively identify the "Benjamim Guimarães" and find out more about when exactly she has been built and whether she was designed especially for Brazil. It seams that the boat has probably been built in 1913 but then the next fact available is that she's been bought by "Amazon River Plate Company" in the 1920s --so I'm trying to fill that gap of about ten years in her history ...

    By the way, here is a recent video (from 2012) of the boat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQzu-vci8y0

    Thanks for any help or hints in the right direction!

    #2
    Well...

    For those of us who complain that the QUEENS don't blow their whistle enough, this video gives us enough whistle to last! Thanks for posting this interesting video.

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      #3
      Now that is a legit steamboat!

      Looks like it could sink or blow at any time.
      Hmmm. Brazil looks mighty nice this time of year in the Rockies.

      Thanks for posting this.

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        #4
        *STR. BENJAMIN GUIMARES/L-O-N-G steam whistle*
        Steamboating colleagues:
        Thanks to Franz for the above posting on the Str. BENJAMIN GUIMARES with 'follow' comments by Judy and Ron. I ran like a bunny to find any additional information but think Franz pretty much has the basics. GOOGLE webs don't give much more other than the steamboat being in "Tourist trade...Sao Francisco River from Perapora to Dos Velhas River." So far no luck in running down just who Benjamin Guimares is/was other than notes in Spanish about this individual being important in business. I also saw, read [A little] the web link in German. She was built by REESE & SONS, 1913. No doubt one of those prefab boats built, packed up with boilers, components and shipped down there. Do any here know if REES sent one or more supervising engineers or 'joiners' to help or supervise completion of the boat there?

        On the whole I think she looks to be in pretty good condition. The boiler you see 'may' be new as it glistens. Those boats on foreign rivers did have very low freeboard. I agree with Judy that the whistle is something else. When was the last time we heard a steamboat blow a whistle like that? The white uniformed officers and crew look very professional. The very muddy water looks familiar from what I remember on the Amazon and Pirana Rivers. The lower Amazon in places so wide the shores extend to the far horizon.

        What appears to be very open, flimsy decks for a reason. It's VERY hot, humid down there with need to have air circulate in and around. Obviously no need for interior heating. Any mininal air-conditioning possibly nonexistent. Reminds me of period steamboats on the Nile and other Asian rivers [Irrawaddy River, Mekong] in hot climates. REES & SONS, DENNY BROS., Dumbarton, Scotland whipped off prefab boats for various foreign rivers like cookies. When the contract for the then new DELTA KING/DELTA QUEEN came from old Jim Burns and the CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION CO. it was just one more order for DENNY. Basic components for the DK/DQ and the GUIMARES sent as a package with local lumber to finish all off. Again, what do I know?

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

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          #5
          I've looked into the BG many times before but haven't come up with much more than anyone else. They did a major renovation in the late nineties (1997, 98) with the boat sitting high and dry, posting several pictures in the process. I've seen several You Tube videos of the boat, including some decent video of the engines while underway. I was once told the engine face plates had been polished so many times over the years the lettering was considerably worn away. I always wanted to establish a correspondence of some kind with a crew member (especially an engineer) to see what sort of experiences they have and, possibly, some helpful hints to similar equipment.

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