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    Perhaps more on steamboats and insects

    The attached photo show passengers having dinner outside on the boiler deck guard of the GOLDEN EAGLE. Built as the WM. GARIG a cotton packet, the "GOLDIE" had a very narrow cabin. But its not dinning on the guard that interests me in this picture, look to the right along the overhead, see those light bulbs......they look black! In b/w photos many times red comes out black, so I'm thinking they lit the guard at night with red lights to keep from attracting bugs. Also red light does not demenish night vision.
    This picture was probably taken in the 30's, when did yellow bug lights come into use??????
    Attached Files

    #2
    *Yellow bug lights/GOLDEN EAGLE*
    Steamboating colleagues:
    Jim, great photos above of the GOLDEN EAGLE showing how it was back then. Question: What did they do serving meals on the GE when weather was cold, rainy? I do see what appears to be canvas drop cloths on the outside above the deck railing. I hope the food on the GE was darned good as to make that kind of a sell to present day travelers on a river boat would be tough. Yet, as they say, people didn't know any different and loved it. Same went for the now rather spartan to dreary accommodations on the GORDON C. GREENE. Far cry from the big, new boats today here and on European rivers. Back then a real stretch converting a packet steamboat to a cruise boat. Cabins were small on many of the night boats as that was all needed. Forget full house plumbing until years later.

    So far I've come up -0- seeking history of the 'yellow insect lights.' Yet, they've been around a lot longer than we think along with the 'red bulbs.' I remember both in the military, seeing them on navy and other big commercial ocean ships. Somebody may know. Great pictures and great questions.

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

    Comment


      #3
      The "GOLDIE's" boiler deck was enclosed with windows so dining out on the guard could continue during the cooler months. In fact, take a close look at the stern view photo of her and you'll see how the forward part of the boiler deck was enclosed. The Eagle Packet Co. used the same scheme on the CAPE GIRARDEAU later on. The Greene Line continued with enclosing the forward boiler deck for awhile during the cooler months and, as you know, eventually enclosed the whole of the GORDON C. GREENE's boiler deck.

      Word on the street is that the AQ people would like to enclose the forward texas deck to allow more passengers to have their meals at the buffet dining spot Front Porch of America. If they study old photos of the GOLDEN EAGLE and CAPE GIRARDEAU/GORDON C. GREENE and see how it was done to those fine old steamboats they could be on to something.

      Comment


        #4
        *RE: 'Enclosed decks on GOLDIE & GCG*
        Steamboating colleagues:
        Frank, thanks for your keen eyes, knowledge of enclosing decks on the GOLDEN EAGLE and the GORDON C. GREENE. This arrangement fine for warm weather months up to and until the boats laid up for the winter. Even then boat owners knew they couldn't run too long into the late fall season. The GREENE LINE learned that long ago even down to when then put the DQ into service.

        Question: No evidence I see but did they have any kind of steam heat on the GORDON C. GREENE once they enclosed her decks outside? As a kid my dad did drag me on the GORDON when he was doing official visits from the Cincinnati Fire Department and City Hall. I remember some things but others over my head at the time. Had I been a few years older I possibly would have been more vigilant. At least I did get aboard the GORDON in addition to seeing her steaming up and down the river here in Cincinnati. Dad used to say, "Did you hear that boat whistle go down last night? It was the GORDON C. GREENE."

        Later I vividly recall on a frosty night late hearing the DELTA QUEEN blowing her last long whistle in late November ending her season until Mardi Gras. They really laid on that whistle that last night with it reverberating all over town and the hills. It was haunting and I'll never forget it. Again, what do I know?

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

        Comment


          #5
          It looks to me that they serving dinner astern of the enclosed portion of the boiler deck. On the GCG the officers table was on the boiler deck's stbd guard, not in the main cabin.

          Comment


            #6
            *Opinions varied on GORDON C. GREENE*
            Steamboating colleagues:
            Again thanks to Jim and Frank for posting these great discussion threads with photos. This makes my day and if I don't see a new one I get pretty glum. Jim, Keith, Frank and others know a lot more about the GOLDEN EAGLE than I do and I sure wish I had 'tripped' on her just once. Noted author Clarke Firestone in Cincinnati was a fan of steamboats in addition to being a friend of the Greene family playing cards with Capt. Mary B. Greene. His books contain incredibly detailed, colorful descriptions of his 'trips' on the Greene boats and the GOLDEN EAGLE. I posted one of his descriptions of the GOLDIE on her some years ago but don't think it can be retrieved now.

            Again, converting a period packet boat to a cruise boat was in many cases a stretch then. People loved the GE and the GORDON C. GREENE. Yet, the GORDON had many lacking features that would never sell in today's river tourist market. Mrs. Letha C. Greene mentions a little of this in her 'Long Live the DELTA QUEEN' and Capt. Tom Greene's 'new vision' for the GREENE LINE and his DELTA QUEEN.

            I often consider what could have happened if the GREENE LINE had purchased the then still relatively new big CINCINNATI for river cruise service. This I mentioned in my article featured in the S&D REFLECTOR. The CINCINNATI issue clouded by the Great Depression, failure of the L&C LINE and her need for repairs, renovations, size, operating expenses. People often mention the CINCINNATI being just a few years older than the then new DELTA KING/DELTA QUEEN. Others in the know opine the DK/DQ possibly better built. Anyway, the possibility of the grand CINCINNAT surviving down to relatively recent years an intriguing possibility. Who knows? I know I don't know.

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

            Comment


              #7
              Looks like the woman seated in the foreground is saying something like "Don't you take that tone with me!"

              :-)

              Comment


                #8
                *RE: Woman pointing her finger/Dour look on her face*
                Steamboating colleagues:
                Ron, that was a 'goodie' and I'm still laughing over it here. Perhaps she is shaking her finger at her dining table companion with, "Don't take that tone with me!" or possibly, "Look, this is how I fry my cat fish and hush puppies at home." The man in the suit next to her looking down dour in his plate possibly saying, "Beulah, that's enough of that. Eat your cat fish here and shut up." That 'gray hair' crowd on the GOLDEN EAGLE then not much different from what we saw on the DELTA QUEEN, MISSISSIPPI QUEEN, AMERICAN QUEEN and now new river cruise boats. Cheers!

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

                Comment


                  #9
                  The visible part of the table legs appear to be rather thin, maybe pipe? Were they folding tables? Storage being at a premium I suspect--don't know of course on that boat. Could those tables be hinged on the bulkhead and folded up when not in use? It appears that just maybe if they were folded up against the cabin bulkhead the one just past the handle of the axe would fit just below on behind the highest part of the axe handle and leave room for the watchman to punch the clock key which looks like the holder midway below the axe handle might contain..................I 'fer sure don't know.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    *'Folding tables on GOLDEN EAGLE:
                    Steamboating colleagues:
                    Jim, good point RE: possible "folding tables" on the GOLDIE and I think you are right. I also looked sharp but see, so far, NO evidence of any sprinkler system, wall fire extinquishers. The same arrangement on the GORDON C. GREENE with tables folded up without a lot of work stowing conventional tables. The GORDON's cabin inside was also something of a tight squeeze for evening entertainment, costume parties etc. Some old movies show big Mardi Gras parties on the GORDON.

                    Woody Rutter, Capt. Fred Way's son-in-law, recalled vividly how the cabin stewards, maids, some kitchen help always ate their meals first and early at a long table in the rear of the GORDON's cabin before the gong sounded bringing in the general passsengers. Dining room of the huge sidewheel CINCINNATI of 1924 spacious, open with standard tables for two up to larger groups. Photos can often deceive but on the CINCINNATI there was enough room between tables you could have rolled bowling balls.

                    The boats with the really beautiful cabins were those of the famed ANCHOR LINE. All their tables, chairs white and gold with the anchor monogram and, when no meals in progress, were artistically arranged or angled with each other. Long tables covered with plush table covers like tapestries. Ah, those were the days considering all. Hey, what's for dinner tonight?

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

                    Comment


                      #11
                      And look and the guy behind her bending an ear to hear the admonishment.

                      Sheesh. Mind you own steamboatin' business. ( And eat your catfish)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Look at the crown of the deck. If those tables weren't attached to the bulkhead, the legs next to the wall would have to be about 2" shorter than the legs on the outside of the guard, else wise the table would have quite a list. Not a straight line on a steamboat.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          *Deck 'crown'/Folded talbles on GOLDIE & GCG*
                          Steamboating colleagues:
                          Morning Jim and Ron. I ran like a bunny to see what new postings added to the above expanding thread and others and am not disappointed. Good point, Jim, about the "crown of the deck" on the GOLDEN EAGLE...legs 2" shorter etc." I'd bet those tables possibly [?] hinged, secured to the bulkhead for folding down, lifting up. Sure, the legs would be cut as you say but that's what a good steamboat packet/cruise steamer carpenter is for. Jim, who was carpenter when you were working on the DELTA QUEEN? I remember Charlie Sparka and his wife. Lovely people and Charlie was way up there when I knew him and retired from the GREENE LINE. They were fans of long freighter cruises to the tropics aboard UNITED FRUIT CO. ships as I saw in their great 35 mm. color slides.

                          I would also opine the tables in the cabin of the GORDON C. GREENE possibly [?] secured to the cabin wall with hinges. I'll give Woody Rutter, Capt. Fred Way's son-in-law, a buzz and ask him. But that cabin on the 'City' boat of the ANCHOR LINE takes your breath away with beauty. Note the clever angling of the tables and chairs, linen, silver, china etc. Take a closer look and note how the knife, fork, spoons cleverly and artistically placed in a kind of tripod at each chair.

                          Charlie Sparka told me a story about the DQ landed in New Orleans on a long trip. An officer on a nearby freighter gave the DQ a big 'hand' of green bananas as a gift. They put the bananas aboard but they wouldn't ripen to eat. Some old veteran in the DQ cookhouse told them, "You have to fan yo' bananas." WHAT?! they asked. "Sho 'nuff. Some banana family like dat. You got to put dem in a dark place like a big box with a pan of water inside for the moisture. Several times a day you gots to open it up, fan to get air movin' and yo' banannas will ripen." They did what was suggested and the bananas ripened in no time. Funny what I heard or saw way back then writing it down or filing away in my dismal brain. Agian, what do I know?

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

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Corey Seabrook was the carpenter, he was a nephew of Earl Seabrook the New Albany funeral director. Earl was a gentleman of the old school who had a long history with the Greene's and earlier with the Combine. He rode the DQ often. He told the story about the time the SPARGUE blew a cylinder head and the boat was laid up in New Albany for repairs, he and a friend walked through the low pressure cylinder without having to bend over.
                            Then there was L.D.Poore who I believe was a licensed mate. L.D. also had a long history with the Greene Line.
                            Even early on, in the early 50's, the Greene's knew that a boat as large and complicated as the DQ needed continual upkeep. Upkeep that required skills the deckcrew didn't have so they employed good boatmen to keep ahead of the "honey do" list. I believe that is why when you see pictures of the boat during that era she looked so good.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              *Earl Seabrook/L.D. Poore on DQ*
                              Steamboating colleagues:
                              Thanks, Jim, for recalling Corey Seabrook carpenter on the DQ. I'd heard quite a bit from Keith Norrington about Earl Seabrook who was a steamboat buff par excellance.

                              Yep, I remember L.D. Poore very well on the DQ as mate then. He never said much and in turn I never asked much. He went about his business somewhat slow and easy. There is a famous Greene family story about L.D. Poore. The GORDON C. GREENE was laid up for the season but preparing for Mardi Gras with all the crew working to get her cleaned, spiffed up, ready--and that meant everybody working from the captain on down and that meant even captains scraped and painted. Capt. Tom Greene put a detail to work painting the cabin on the GORDON. In time he employed the famed Greene hands on approach coming around to check on progress. He stopped, looked mad as a wet hen seeing Poore and his crew lathering fresh paint all over without having washed the woodwork or dusted off first. Not one more drop of paint applied from where they left off to where they were going after washing all down first. Later Cal Benefel pretty much was the man in charge in the engineroom in addition to a million other jobs needing to be done. As Betty Blake soon learned, "Cal was the guy who knew how to turn the boat on, get her up and running." "Boatmen" a good term used. Fred Way in his time used an even older term "Sailormen." John Burns, son of old Jim Burns who built the DK/DQ, told me his dad said there were some 125 steps or things to do to get those two boats up and running from being laid up and dead cold.

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

                              Comment

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