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"Welcome To My World"

Silly Puddy Gallery
( This whole thing is silly )



Friday, May 16, 2008. There's alot to this page, and it doesn't end until you've reached the very bottom where the Navigation Buttons are. It's a "page down" "page down" "page down" thingy. Since most of the images, and photos are linked to, this page loads fast. It's a potpourri like thing, so click on what grabs ya. If the post card above intrigues you, you will find something listed below you'll want to see.

Developing site...photos, drawings, and "off-the-top-of-the-head" "messages" only for experimentation. Nautical flair incidental.
Instructions for getting started
Updated August 2004

Setting up, and using Outlook Express
Making a "signature" for your outgoing email
Scanning 35MM Slides Cheaply
Beveled Photos And Drop Shadows
With Sound Link Samples
Convert photos to look like old newsprint
How To Make Watermarks

When I first started this project, I had no idea of what I'd say, or use it for, and I am still not sure.  Experimenting with how to make additional pages, I just said anything to fill them, and called them "messages". Here's all that old stuff in one place...making buttons for all those pages ( msgs ) was dumb.  

1) Presumption

2) Handling the EOT

3) Windlas

4) Soogying

5) Old Brooklyn Ferries
Hey! Some new Old Ferry stuph here ( 2008 )

6) Styrofoam Cups

7) Night Orders

8) Derby Brown

9) Whistle Sounds

10) This Retired Seaman's View

11) Brooklyn Hulks and The 68th St. Powerhouse

12) Scows And Barges And The S.C.I


1) Presumption

Nothing could be said better, than when it is said by

SLOWBELL

SLOWBELL gets to the point, and speaks plainly.


2) Handling the EOT
When "handling" the telegraph, do not jerk the handle, but move it smoothly, staying within the segment ( ahead, or astern ), unless moving from segment ( ahead, or astern ) to segment. Traverse the whole segment when moving within it, to make the signal heard at the other end...don't just move for instance from half to full, move the handle up to slow, and then down to full. Don't lean on the telegraph, it's bad for the shine.


3) Windlass
Do not leave your windlass in gear except when heaving around, or lowering the hook in gear. When at anchor, and fetched up, just secure the brake, don't set the pawl. When secured for sea, use only the brake, paul, and devil's claw. Remember, if you lose the plant while at anchor, or any other time, and want to pay out some more, or drop the hook, if the windlass is engaged you are up the creek. Also note that backing off the motor to relieve the clutch don't work...there's a bloody brake on the motor too, and it takes juice to release it.


4) Soogying
Before soogying, make sure the deck, and surrounding machinery, etc. is protected from splatter. If using TSP, make sure the water it's mixed in is good and hot. If using a wooden bucket, check for leaks, and make sure the handle isn't rotted away. If using sand-soap, use a heavy canvas as a cloth. Wet the bulkhead down from top to bottom with clear water, and start soogying from the deck up. If you start at the top, you will streak the lower part, and never get the streaks out, and you'll be in for it with the mate, or chief. In case of splatter, make sure anything that might get splattered is wet. When finished scrubbing, rinse with fresh, clear water, and swab the surrounding deck. Don't ever throw away the canvas...save it for the next job. Use the sand-soap until it can't be held anymore. If there be any water left in the bucket, check with the R/O, he may want to bathe.


5) Old Brooklyn Ferries
sillygal_2.gif ferry sign

Shhhh...the best kept secret in the world. If it existed today, it would be listed as a prime target.
As world famous in its day as Coney Island was, it serviced millions...if you visited Brooklyn, you most likely rode it. Untold thousands of photographs were taken of it, and its slip, and dock, many more from its decks. If only for the reason that I get the occasional request for a photo of the ferry, I wouldn't be thinking of it now, but in my quest for photos from acquaintances, I come up with just one of each...the old steam side-wheeler, and its replacement - the Electric Ferries, and embellished ( colored ) both of them just for effect. I made the animated Side Wheel Ferry myself.
Spending weeks surfing the web, I found bits, and pieces of documention, but none very comprehensive. However, what I present here should satisfy those who hold a soft spot in their hearts for the 69th Street Ferry; Brooklyn - Staten Island Ferry; Electric Ferries; Bay Ridge Ferry; or whatever else name they went by.

Hold On...Avast! Many moons have passed...we can now say we have found loads of documentation and photos once we have caught on to this stuph!

Oh...about the sign above...if you're a Brooklynite, or former one, which means you're still one, you may remember it...I don't, though I lived only a few blocks from where today just one still exists. I "edited" it a bit...cleaned it up...the photo of it, with its location can be found by searching, using: "69th street ferry".

While we're here I might as well insert this new graphic I just composed showing the ferry's route...all 1 and 3/4 nautical miles of it in the Upper Bay of New York Harbor between Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and St. George, Staten Island ( Richmond ). Note the characteristic of our dearly beloved Light Tower - FR ( fixed red ) up 24 feet above mean sealevel, and visible nine miles. The tower is assigned the number "2" - fitting in with the Aids numbering for this channel.


Way back in the early part of this century ferries like the one to the left, painted box-car red, steamed from Brooklyn's 69th St. Pier to St. George, Staten Island. It only cost a nickle as a pedestrian, and if you had a car, just a few cents more. They were later replaced in the early forties by new boats, which were painted dark green. Known as "Electric Ferries", and sometimes sporting that name in large white letters...the one in the photo being "The Narrows"...otherwise Brooklyn - Staten Island. Some were built by General Ship & Engineering Works, East Boston, Mass., in 1941 for Electric Ferries, Inc., of New York City...others elsewhere...like in Texas. Their dimensions were: displacement 569 tons; length: 171'9"; beam: 54'; draft. 9'6"; did 13 knots; and were Diesel Electric...and here too, there are varying statistics. They weren't all that big...569 tons ( or whatever ) displacement isn't all that much.


They had it down to a science...it was zip zap!
This is the ramp the cars and trucks will come down. You see some on the dock waiting. But that line sometimes can be quite long...the ferry is just about to moore.
Here's the Vehicle Deck of the the ferry...in this case the Hamilton...all the cars and trucks loaded aboard in Staten Island have driven off, and it's ready to embark.
If you owned a car, or knew someone who did you have to remember waiting here to board the ferry. It was just up the street from the dock. Is that Officer Murphey directing the traffic? Nah...that's Clancy.

The company ran seven boats: The Tides; The Narrows; Hamilton . This next photo looks familiar, so we can assume the contributor glommed it. If that be the case, please don't look at it too long, and wear it out. It's the only colored photo from that era, a rare find indeed - E. G. Diefenbacch; Hudson; Gotham; and St. George seen here when she ran on the Hudson River between N.J. and 125th Street in Manhattan.

Just in case you're wondering, yes...there was another "Gotham", though a bit smaller, but designed by the same architect - Eads Johnson. Easily recognizable because its covered ladder-well from the 01 level to the Main Deck, unlike all the others, was on the opposite ( right ) side facing both ends. It ran in the Chesapeake.

In April of '42 ( during WW2 ), the Navy acquired the Hudson from the company, renamed it Gould Island, and gave it the designation of YFB-31. It was returned to the company in May of '46.

The ferry service ended right after that bridge from Brooklyn to Staten Island came into service in November of '64.
Whatever the dispositions of our belovered ferries were, in some cases you don't want to know...I didn't care. For instance the Hamilton went to Costa Rica in 1971...renamed - El Nicojano...painted white and bright orange, and used to carry cattle to slaughter...besides people and vehicles. Did you really want to know that? I have a photo of it...thankfully in grayscale.

The ramp...mustn't forget the ramp down, and up which the cars, and pedestrians embarked, and debarked the ferry. A substantial thing, constructed of heavy timbers, and which was adjustable in order to accomodate the freeboard of the ferry, and the tide conditions. It was also to the ramp which the ferry moored with two lines...one port, and one starboard. You have to remember the clanking of the pall on the rachet gear when the deckhand spun the large, spoked wooden wheels in order to take a strain on these lines...which by the way had a hook spliced into it's end...the hook placed into the padeye on the deck of the ferry. Yes, yes...when that wheel stopped spinning, and the clanking of the pall stopped, the line was taught, and the ferry fast. To cast off was to simply release the pall, and un-hook the ferry...simplicity in the sublime.

The Ferry Terminal in my early days remained simple, and stayed that way until its demise. The small sign in the photo says: "THE SHORT ROUTE 69th St. FERRY TO STATEN ISLAND & OUTERBRIDGE + GOETHAL'S BRIDGE TO NEW JERSEY".
Today the new dock stands without a hint of its former glory.

"and you could hear the tugs in the harbor chugging and the deep ooooo from their whistles floated across the bay and rolled down 2nd Avenue and even the ferry's mooring winch could be heard, when it was quiet and still, clanging a ferry into the slip and it was a drag of a night"
Last Exit To Brooklyn
Hubert Selby, Jr.


"As a deck hand, I had certain jobs to do. In the slip there was a wheel on each side which had a rope with a hook on it. I would stand on the side edge, holding onto the railing, and reach in and grab the big hook and hook it on to the eyelet. Then Id jump off into the slip when it was close enough and go in and crank it in. There was a big winch with four-inch wheels and once I got it in tight Id dog it to hold it there. Then the guy at the slip would lower the slip down or raise it up, whatever was necessary according to the tide. Of course, there was a guy on the other side of the ferry who did the same thing I did. Thats why they needed two deck hands."
Riding the Ferry and Other Adventures
Rober Hazel

69th Street Pier showing the Ferry Slip, and a liberty Ship moored on the pier's North side, and some further comments at the bottom of that page.
Another rare photo of a Ferry Ramp showing the Mooring Winch, hawser, and hook. More often than not you will find a Double Windlass. Presumbly as a back-up feature.


We luck out...newly discovered photos hidden in long lost archives.


Click Here for photo taken in '39 of 69th Street Pier with the side-wheel ferry Wyoming; and N.Y. Harbor Supervisor boat. Also a full lenght view of the Skeletal Light Tower at the pier's end.
Taken shortly before, or after the photo just viewed, here's another different class of Ferry - the Yorkville in the slip. With no evidence of a Walking Beam, it can be presumed it is a screw rather than side-wheel ferry...though still steam driven.

There's no mistaking this ferry for anything but a side-wheeler...see the walking beam on top...you can make out its name as New Amsterdam. Photographed in 1929 this is a rare find. The sign says "Bay Ridge Ferry To Staten Island". I searched using "Bay Ridge Avenue" ( avenue spelled out ) rather than 69th Street because back then they didn't call it that. Shear luck!
Though there appears to be a sea wall, there's no nice iron fence; no bike, or walk path; no Shore Parkway either; just dirt. This is an oldy alright!

This photo, taken in '29 also shows the ferry Carteret approaching 69th Street Pier...another side wheeler.

It's hard to nail down, but in the company's web site they say that in 1912 Emmet J. McCormack founded the first Staten Island to Brooklyn Ferry with the old side ( they call it "wide" ) wheeler - John Inglis ( should read: "Englis" ). Neat to know, Emmet was born in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, Kings County, New York of Irish Immigrants on September 2, 1880. We got history here....This ain't just some ordinary dock! In 1905 Emmet started up a coal company to supply British ships. During this activity he met Albert - good ol' Albert V. Moore. On July 9th 1913, Messrs. McCormack and Moore ( both just shy of 33 years of age ) formed Moore McCormack Inc. You wanna go geef a luke? Go look in the N.Y. Public Library Digital Archives and you'll find a photo of the entire pier taken around '29 showing a Moore McCormack freighter tied up at the 69th Street pier in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. How about that!

Some notes:

The Brooklyn and Richmond Ferry (69th Street Ferry) ran from 69th Street in Brooklyn (north of the present Verrezzano Bridge) to St. George.

Brooklyn and Richmond Ferry Company 1912 to 1939,

Electric Ferries company 1939-1954 and the

City of New York 1954 to 1964

Captain George M. Auten, Assistant Secretary of Moore-McCormack Lines, joined Moore-McCormack in 1914 as manager of the Brooklyn and Richmond ferry.

Whatever, it was in 1912 when ferry service from Staten Island to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn started. First or second, it's a toss up, an old time "ferryman" by the name of Hawkins ( Clifford ) claims he with some buddies leased two ferries - The Garden City; and Flushing from the "Long Ghool Railroad" or depending where in Brooklyn you lived - "Lawn Guyland RR" - LIRR, and on July 3rd 1912 "sneeked into 69th Street Pier to start service.

The other story is that on July 4th the service started with the John Inglis ( should read: John Englis ) ferryboat. No data on the Englis, but it was "old"...all of twelve ( 12 ) years old.

Apparently the ferry John Inglis was sold to a Carteret ferry company in 1917 but retained as a "rental" along with other ferries from the Carteret company...one of them being the ferry Carteret pictured above. The Carteret company ceased its run from Jersey to Staten Island in '29, leasing its "fleet" ( a half dozen or so ) to the Richmond Brooklyn outfit. In '39 when the Brooklyn Richmond outfit folded, the ferry John Englis was scrapped.

There is no "John Inglis"...it should read: "John Englis"...a steel, steam sidewheeler ferry of 1022 gross tons built by T. S. Marvel Shipbuilding Co., Newburgh NY, and delivered to the Brooklyn Ferry Co. in June of 1900. On June 22, 1901 the SIRT leased the Williamsburg ferry company's new steel-hull paddle- wheeler John Englis. In 1912 the Richmond Brooklyn Ferry Co. "acquired" it.

Whatever, before the "City" took over, it was "musical ferries" - like "musical chairs" kids play. There was no original intent to get this deep into the history of our 69th Street Ferry...just to show pitchers ( pictures ). However, if you geef a luke on the internet, there's loads. Finding that some of these "ferry barons" were BayRidgites like myself, and probably played stick-ball like us, I stuck 'em in here. It's for sure they found more interest in the pier than just fishing - like us. These men got in on the ground floor and with so many others built New York into what it is today. At first just adventurous, but later acquiring "culture"...building mansions...some intermarrying...becoming giants of industry...some even statesmen. They had dreams, and their dreams became our enjoyment, and to our benefit. Big guys...small guys...we all won. It would have been nice to end this with a photo of the John Englis as the first 69th Street Steam ferry, but there isn't any. You can figure, though it was steel, it looked like the wooden side-wheelers of that decade. They built these things like hot cakes.


Entering the shipbuilding business in the 1870s, Jackson & Sharp constructed a variety of wooden vessels, from barges to yachts. This Ferry, the Charles W. Galloway, was built for the Staten Island Railway in 1922. BR>
There was even a ferry named Brooklyn. Believe it or not.


More Great Finds from our Library Archive friends. They have the photos, but have no idea what they are about. Such a waste.

Click Here for photo of the then new skeletal light tower all BayRidgers of that time loved. A rare find in that the archivists called it a "Lighthouse". It's a "Brooklyn Eagle" photo taken in 1932. So what's a newspaper taking a photo of a light tower for? We can presume because it was just installed, and considered "newsworthy". Here it is as we remember it.

Check out Moonset In Brooklyn...a short fantasy. How many considered the light "theirs"? How many rendevouzed at that light...at the end of that pier - 69th Street Pier. Do you know there isn't any 69th Street...it's just the pier ( called affectionately "The Dock" ) that's numbered as such. It's at the foot of Bay Ridge Avenue.

Here's another of the entire thing...notice though they hadn't installed "our" light yet. See the bow of one of the old steam ferries in the one, and only, and quite simple slip. It's late twenties...not later than '32.

Ten years later when the "Electric Ferries" were put online we see this new ramp or "float bridge" installed, at first just one. Later another was installed giving the terminal two...and then some years later yet - three....Believe it or not.

Search forever ( seemingly ) and you won't find a decent photo of the "Dock". But here someone - probably The Brooklyn Eagle, took this shot...just for us - for posterity. Taken in the late forties...early fifties...see the "Electric Ferry" in the slip, and the vintage of the cars.

Last, as there aren't any other photos anywheres of the old pier in the entire world, here we have around the year 1947, or 8 the author (left); pal Randy; and his pal. I had begun, or was about to begin classes in Manhattan at Metropolitan Vocational H.S. - the H.S. with the Liberty Ship - Jown W. Brown, from which I did graduate, and begin a life-long carreer at sea retiring in 1988. In the picture we see one of the New York Harbor Supervisor boats...they had four of these steam tugs. They were used as Harbor Patrol boats mostly keeping a lookout for polluters.
Tied up to the pier out of sight, but it's mooring lines evident, is a Liberty Ship using the pier as a "Lay Berth". You can see children with their parents fishing, as well as others. Since in the original photo the photographer, probably my brother, didn't include the top of the light tower, with the help of recently found photos of the tower, I could digitally restore it. Seldom in my recollection was the pier ever totally whole...most of the time being repaired one way or the other...so much for wood, which is merely vegetable matter when you think of it.
However, vegetable matter or not, it did survive it's near-century long existance as an interesting maritime feature in that not only people, but vessels like ferries; excursion boats; tugs; and whatever else that floated could tie up, adding to the charm of it all. There were no street lights like the new pier has. You could venture out on it in the night and be enchanted by the sound of the swells hitting on the timbers beneath, or the stars above. There were no railings...people in those days weren't prone to falling off docks, or being wobbly. Fishing was a pleasure as you could just screw whatever device you used to secure your fishing line while you grabbed a smoke. Remember those little bells that would jingle if you got a bite? Lastly, though I'll never have use for, or see the new pier, why couldn't they have restored the skeletal light tower needed or not in the same location as the old pier. Where now can a guy secretly rendezous with his partner on dark, wintry nights when in the romantic mood? Ha ha. Oh well! Nothing stays the same...I guess.

You've been good...you stuck with me this far, now for a treat! Whoever it is, we are indebted to this contributor for two excellent views of our beloved pier as we remember it...always a host to the odd tugboat or two, and a full length view of our "idol" - the skeletal light tower. Many thanks...many thanks dear friend. view of the end of the pier with tug and tower, and a view looking shoreward along North side of the pier with a tug moored alongside.

What? Alright already, here's your blonde! Sheesh...these Bay Ridge guys...never satisfied!


We luck out...newly discovered photos hidden in long lost archives....Again!


Click Here for 17 full color views of our beloved Brooklyn To Staten Island ferries taken on the last day of operations - November 22, 1964 at 69th Street Pier, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Here's a little a little documentation. Interesting to note our pier does go back to 1916; is/was 740 feet long; 47 feet wide; was a public pier; and was called the "Bay Ridge Avenue" pier.


6) Styrofoam Cups
Back when styrofoam cups were popular, and not considered environmentally unsafe, you had to be careful at night to remember where you left it. I am talking of course at night, in a darkened wheel house underway. I had on one occasion a second mate who would chew tobacco, and use his cup for a spittoon. If there is one thing you don't need, is a slug of that stuff. More on spittoons later.

.


7) Night Orders
There is no standard, or guide for what Captains considered necessary to put in their "night orders", nor should there be. I have seen some night orders two pages long, and I have seen the "one liners" like one skipper wrote night after night..."Follow the red line.". The ship was a liner - so the same charts were used each trip. Charts being considered expensive - $1.00 - they were used until they fell apart, this particular skipper drawing in the course lines using a red ball point pen. Over the years, after reading many night orders, I came up with the following, which was pretty standard:
"Observe Standing Orders, and Rules of the Road. Give all shipping a Wide Berth. Keep a Good Lookout. Follow the course line as plotted, allowing leeway as needed. Call me if at any time in doubt."
I very seldom left a call, being an early riser anyways, unless landfall was expected early, which I very seldom allowed to happen. Most always I scheduled arrivals, and departures, dockings, and undockings, around my sleep schedule, and meal hours....After all, I ran all my ships as it were my private yacht.


8) Derby Brown
This is Derby Brown, my YorkyPoo pal.
Two years old next April, and ready to
stand lookout on any vessel traversing
the English Channel in fog, rain, snow,
or any other condition similarly restri-
ting visibility. Licensed also for keeping mates awake.


9) Whistle Sounds

triple_steam_whistle.gif
Click Button to sound whistle. Sometimes you may have to Click the button twice.


Old Fashioned Whistle
Large Ship's Whistle
Ship's Air Whistle
Small Vessel's Whistle
air_horn.gif
qm2_whistle_assy.gif
Queen Mary's Whistle
Graphic is of actual whistle assembly of the old Queen Mary loaned to the new Q M 2 do late in 2003. She will be the world's largest passenger ship at 150,000 gross tons.
It weighs one ton, and would stand six feet if stood vertical. Said to be heard ten miles distant without bothering passengers on deck.


10 ) This Retired Seaman's View
A retired seaman's view. Not
much water, but yet some.
Just enough to day dream by.



11 ) Brooklyn Hulks and The 68th St. Powerhouse


If the Brooklyn Bay Ridge Waterfront in the '30s and '40s was your "territory" as a child, you may remember those hulks lying in the mud close to shore just South of the big powerplant at the foot of 68th Street, and North of 69th Street Pier. Today nothing visible remains of them, nor the powerplant with its two high smoke stacks. The hulks were buried in fill to make way for the Owl's Head Sewage Treatment Plant.
Buried deep are these hulks of once proud sailing ships - later converted to coal barges for the Sheridan Barge Co. There was a day when you could see dozens of these barges anchored on the Bay Ridge Mud Flats waiting for berths to unload their cargos of coal.
However there remains photos of these hulks, and the powerhouse: The The Power House; and The Hulks; and another view of the hulks behind a fence of Bliss Park which is a photo taken before Belt Parkway cut off the park from the shore in '39.

How about this view just received from a "contributor" showing the old Power House on the left; the hulks; and to the extreme right partial view of the "Dock". Bliss Park, or Owl's Head ark - take your choice, takes center stage.
Here's an aerial of how it looks today. Under there are several old hulks...entombed for posterity.


Not So Fast!


How about this view? Just discovered! 1929 is when that photo was taken...eleven years after WW1. Let's go look at a photo sent by a "contributor", but not used.

This close-up, taken in the early forties...notice the foremast gone on the nearest hulk reveals also another vessel of the SAME CLASS. A hulk's a hulk...right? Wrong...not if maybe we can identify it! First of all, now that we are getting serious here, these two at least are not "old sailing ships", or Sheridan coal barges converted from old sailing ships as we always believed as kids. Old sailing ships as the rumors said seem more "romantic" to have off our beloved shore of Bay Ridge. However we may have here something more historical. Received this email from Ramon whom I just yesterday mentioned this to:

----- Original Message -----
To: Carl
Sent: Saturday, February 23, 2008 6:00 PM
Subject: Re: GOTTA BE!

At 01:43 PM 2/23/2008, you wrote:
Gotta be!

I think so. I cropped the full ship in the hulk photo you just sent, flipped it horizontally and pasted in the Ferris vessel. I sure see points that seem to match. How about your really expert eye?
A few of those vessels did go in to commercial service after the war. If I recall the story they were not very successful and did not compete with the regular construction long. Twelve years would probably be some of the more successful ones I'd guess. I do believe you have an answer for at least two of the hulks.

Ramon



This is all quite strange in that about a year ago Ramon brought up the subject of these long forgotten wooden freighters built by the U.S. when it entered WW1. Though interesting, I never connected them to these hulks so prominent in my childhood memories. If we examine this photo again you can see on the vessel behind, the remnants of its smoke stack...just a stub...but surely the stack. All this after all these years...like sixty or so for me, and many childhood friends my age. If interested you can find more documentation on these wooden ships built by the WW1 Emergency Fleet Corporation - and designed by Ferris: The Bridge To France; and this one: UHEXSO MARINE ARCHEOLOGY PROJECTS; and this one: The Ghost Fleet Of Mallows Bay.

Yes...these two hulks...both sisters...are "Three Island Ships - the "islands" being the "raised forecastlehead"; the "raised house"; and the "raised poop". Two ships of the same class...two freighters with four cargo holds; two masts; "plum bows; old-fashioned sterns. Only a decade after the end of WW1 - the photo taken in 1929. Hundreds built; but poor design; most scrapped shortly after the war, but yet many escaped the breakers for a while. Not considered too seaworthy; not popular; ugly ducklings; but two make it to Bay Ridge, and for some nearly twenty years mystify, and intrique us. Which ships were they? Maybe some day an archeologist will recover their Main Beams under that Sewage Plant, and there will be their Hull Numbers. Could happen. Maybe yet there might be records of them somewhere. Or some smart kid climbing in, and around them wrote down their Hull Numbers, or made out their names. Whatever, now we know, or can be reasonably sure they were part of a noble cause...two ships of the WW1 Emergency Fleet Corporation, and designed by a fellow named Ferris.


Didn't Know


We live and learn. In using these archives, which is new to me, they have a feature called - "Verso". Using that you can see what is maybe noted on the back of photographs, or graphics. On the back of one of these photos of these hulks is noted: "In the foreground is seen a group of deserted tramp steamers. Apil 29, 1929.
Okay. With that said let's just do one more thing. Looking carefully you will see what looks not like a hulk, but a sericeable vessel ( freighter ). You see the masts; cargo booms; cowl ventilators abaft an intact smoke stack; and possibly a lifeboat....The perfect profile of these wooden WW1 freighters. It's apparently not serviceable, but doomed to become the second freighter hulk. There are three hulks...two of these WW1 Emergency Shibbuilding Corp. ( ESC ) vessels; with one sail vessel hulk in between them. Go give a look for the second time. Amazing!...what?

I know you have been waiting...yes, we know what that sign says.

Now think for a minute...just thimk. What would such a thing do to all that wonderful heavy truck traffic? All those wonderful trucks built in Detroit. It's like years later when Detroit sabotaged all our nice trolley-car service with their cars. Like that bridge they stuck over the Narrows sabatoging our nice ferry service. Cars; Trucks; the streets became full of 'em...the end of Stickball. Amazing...wasn't it...in a city where you didn't need cars...cars everywhere! Isn't it whacky?

Enough of that! There will be a tunnel someday if only for freight trains...it's a must. As for cars...forget it. Trolleys? Nah...makes too much sense. Ferries? Never anything like those old "Electrics", but maybe those high-speed things...but you'll never stand out on deck in the moonlight, or on a nice summer day and enjoy a breeze in your face. No time for that kind of stuph anymore.

Okay...one more photo...and this the only one that shows where in relation to our beloved ferry pier these ignoble "Hulks" did repose. Taken in 1941, notice there's only one ferry slip. An "Electric" ferry is in. A few years later a second slip was built. In 1938 a hurricane hit N.Y. big time. I can remember one of the old sidewheel ferries bottoms up in the slip. Somewhere there has to be a photo of that. Anyone have one?


Or was it 1938...I would have only been six...kind of young to remember such a thing. History shows another hurricane in 1944.


In 1942 Electric Ferries bought the Lake Champlain steel steam screw ferry - City Of Plattsburgh which was built in 1937 in Burlington, Vermont and renamed it Richmond.
During the hurricane of September 1944 while tied up at 69th Street in Bay Ridge she got hung up on the pilings at high water during one of the worse tidal surges in N.Y.'s history. When the tide ran out she tipped over on her side.
She was righted and sold in 1947 as the George Clinton to the New York State Bridge Authority for service across the Hudson River until 1958 when she was sold to a South American outfit.

CONFUSION REIGNS: The ferry - Richmond mentioned above should not be confused with the ferry - Richmond - one of five ferries built in 1905 for the City of New York's Departments Of Plants etc. later to become the Depatment Of Marine And Aviation, and who knows what it is today. Called the "Borough Class" of ferries" they ran between Manhattan and Staten Island ( Richmond ) until the forties. Coincidently the ferry Richmond of this bunch was converted to a barge in 1944...reason not revealed. These five ferries were costly to operate in that they had to two fire rooms requiring two black gangs. Anyways, you see how things can get confused.


12 and final ) Scows And Barges And The S.C.I.


They were everywhere. Up every creek; in every canal; at every pier, and wharf. Nothing moved except by these "ugly ducklings". They were all sizes, but the average being a hundred or so feet long, and a quarter of that wide. They drew about six to ten feet of water, and up til the '60s they were mostly wooden. They were scows and barges...both similar to the other except a scow carried cargo on it, and a barge carried cargo in it. Both were box shaped...the scows having slanted ends. Let's start with this illustration. This is just a short tribute to these vessels. They had to be towed by tugboats. For practically all of them back in the first half of the last centry they had no toilet...a bucket sufficed; no electricity...but kerosene lamps. Water was carried in a large barrel...coal ( for the stove ) in a bin. They leaked alot...the only real reason for having a "captain" was to keep it pumped out...the pump was manually operated...had to be primed, and was fixed to the deck near the cabin. When in the '60s steel scows came along, they fired the captains...they didn't leak. They had a small mast from which to display navigation lights...simple kerosene lanterns. For heating, and cooking they had a small coal stove in most cases. The cabins varied in size from small to smaller.

There were literally thousands of these little giants during New York Harbor's finest years. I'll just blab along with this pictorial review until you get the picture, or I run out of glommed photographs...most buried in old archives and forgotten...like the vessels themselves. Here for starters just to show the wood that went into these things, here's a drawing I made. Seems like nothing smaller than twelve by twelves went into building these things...they were built to take punishment. Here's a brand new one just being completed. The builder was Jackson & Sharp Shipbuilding 1928. Now you've seen that, you've seen them all essentially as far as design goes. How do you improve a design that proved perfect for so many years except to move up to a better material?
When being moved ( towed or pushed by a tugboat ), to prevent flooding the cabin, the other end went first...in other words the "stern" end was were the cabin was. Just an interesting note. Here's a New York Trap Rock Corporation scow loaded with rocks. This company had the largest fleet of sand, gravel, and rock scows...you saw them everywhere...the company had large quaries up the Hudson. I spent a week on a childhood friend's uncle's scow. The short story with some photos here.

Every scow, and barge had a captain in those days. Some had their wives with them, and some even had families living aboard...the kids if school age, and the vessel in the harbor proper, there was usually some way to get to school. Otherwise, if up the River ( Hudson ), or out in the Sound ( Long Island Sound ), the kid did his assignments aboard. These vessels were popular with the "wharf rats"...the kids that could swim, and hung around the waterfront. Here it seems this scow captain is quite popular with the lady swimmers.
Photo taken in 1930 on the upper West Side showing both ends of these vessels; a covered barge; and various other barges along with social activities, and a ferry in the distance; all in one photograph should conclude this subject; but there's a few more you may enjoy seeing.

We should thank the New York Public Library, and the Brooklyn Public Library for most of these photographs. Search using words such as: barges; upper bay; creeks; canals; etc....wherever you'd expect to find scows, and barges. Don't bother searching using "scow"...for some reason it never worked...they just don't know the difference. Googling on scows worked...you'll find some there. Scows are not in vogue much...it's like they were some kind of alien thing. Oh...bye the way: some Sci Fi sites talk about scow space craft.

Speaking of the difference again between scows, and barges I just had to show this one. The Coal Barge is a barge; and the Gravel Scow is a scow....Got it?
Oh...yes...let's address those other barges seen almost everywhere...the Covered Barge. The Railroads had hundreds of 'em. For probably the best, and prettiest way to show these barges is to direct you to this site.
Another type of barge, but called "Floats" were the railroads "Car Floats" - "Car" meaning railroad cars - like box cars; gondolas; and even locomotives. They were quite large, and like scows, and barges, had to be towed by tugboats. We will not address them here.

Like the New York Trap Rock Corp. scow shown previously, here's a slew of 'em being towed ( pushed in this case ) up the Hudson to be loaded...they are called "Empties". Also shown are loaded scows being towed down river, they're called "Fullies"....Just kidding.

Now in the title to this page is included Seaman's Church Institute - SCI. The building which once housed the institute no longer exists as shown here in the early 1900s. All that remains is the "lighthouse", which was salvaged when the building was demolished in 1967, and is now on display at the South Street Seaport Museum. The black ball which shows so prominently in the photo was a "Time Ball"...it would drop exactly on the second at Noon. Mariners, or anyone watching could then compare watches, and chronometers. The reason mention is given to the SCI is because it features so prominently in this photograph. Not always were scows, and barges relegated to obscure creeks; canals; or lay-berths; but often found themselves "downtown". Though it's not that clear, but the lone figure can be imagined as the captain's wife threading a needle as she shares the sunny afternoon with the movers and shakers ashore.
The contrast as to "neighborhoods" is evident here, but doesn't seem to diminish this captain's contentment with the day as he reads his book.

If there were anyplace we could call "out of the way"...especially for Brooklyn Kids exploring the waterfront of New York Harbor it would be Pier 18 New Jersey...right behind the Statue Of Liberty. All that was there has been demolished - leveled, and a park built, but then it was probably the dirtiest place a kid could find. Dirty in respect to coal dust, for this place was were coal barges were loaded. Jersey City, N.J. is where the big coal dumper was. I just had to mention this place.

Let's conclude this short feature with a look inside a scow's cabin...a rare photo indeed. Four "watermen" - a visiting father ( standing with eye-glasses ) and son ( sitting ) about to join the skipper ( wearing fedora ), and his son ( pouring ) at coffee. Though only one side of the cabin is shown, behind the camerman would be the bunk; lockers; no sink; maybe a wash stand...but then maybe just a bucket; toilet? No...bucket for that too; and, and, and...you figure it out. From what we can see, it is neatly kept...notice the fishing rods neatly stowed on the bulkhead; the ice-box; bread-box; curtains; and little whisk-broom. All the comforts of home. The photo was taken in the forties. You have to know that ashore in most of the tenements, especially cold-water flats in New York the kitchen wouldn't wouldn't look much different, nor larger...maybe a gas stove instead of coal.
You think I'm kidding you!? Kitchen ashore in those days. I know...I had a kitchen like this...in Brooklyn...New York. They're still there, but all have been renovated, and you can't touch one for less than half-a-million. They were three story tenements - row houses. Three bed rooms...one could be used a a dining room; and a parlor. The bathroom was out in the hall. It had a toilet ( the kind with the tank up near the ceiling. You "pulled the chain" to flush it; and a tub. No sink. The sink was in the kitchen...like the one in the photo, you washed your face at, and combed your hair in the mirror over it...everyone did...it was the only sink in the house. Millions of us lived like this, and we loved it. New York was a great place. Those guys on the scows, some with wives...even kids were no different except their home floated. They were on minimum wage...they didn't make much more than a trolley conductor...they weren't bums anymore than the rest of us were...just hard working Americans. Don't shudder at that photo...many of them wouldn't change their lives for anything. Scows, barges, whatever...they all contributed to what made New York click. They're gone now, those old wooden things, but there wouldn't have been any New York if not for them...no pyramids either if you think about it. Just think about it!



You sent me this photo in your "lighterage" email, and it just didn't compute. I couldn't understand what a railroad Car Float would be doing alongside a ship.
It wasn't until I got into searching around for more on those coal elevators that I ran across this photo:
Something I was never aware of, and that is shown in that photo above...loading, or unloading through ship's side ports directly into freight cars on Car Floats...in this case fruit. I said in the page I posted on scows, and barges
I wouldn't address Car Floats as all I thought of car floats was shunting around trains. Never figured them for lightering. I guess I'll have to at least mention this aspect of them here.
 
Neither did I address Lighters, though I knew about them, and was aboard one down at the foot of my neighborhood on a cold, sunny winter afternoon. Forget the circumstances, but for a few brief moments the skipper of the Lighter gave me, and a childhood buddy a tour of the thing. Though just a barge, and not one of the self powered kind you saw huffin' and puffin' everywhere, it was quite large, and the engine spaces for the crane, etc., well lit, and clean, and big. I distinctly remember the skipper showing us the Sight Glasses on the boilers, and how they, with little slanted/diagonal lines indicated at a glance the status on whether the water level was sufficient or not. One thing I really remember was how nice an warm it was...it was a cold winter day.
 
Now about those "Elevators". Searching the N.Y. Library using: "loading", I came up with this spooky photo:
Like giant monolithic alien creatures feeding.
I didn't have much of a handle on these things either. Guess I didn't see anything "romantic" about them as I did for the manned barges, and scows. Geez! That photo gives me the creeps. Kind of surreal at the moment since it's six in the morning here, and back to temps down in the fifties. Though calm, and clear it's still dark, and fifty is bloody cold down here. These journeys back into the virtual world of a half-century or more ago along the waterfront sometimes questions whether it was the "good ol' days".
 
I guess that's what these monolithic creatures were called. Here's a drawing of:  one calling it an "Elevator":
"Loading from a Floating Elevator" the caption says.
 
Here's a good photo of the stern of one:
The description of the photo above is: "Loading Grain From Barges". This one being a self-propelled "elevator".
 
The next photo is almost comical:
The description for the above photo is: "Shifting cargo from pier to pier." We're looking at alot of humanity there as each one of those covered barges, and the deck scows had someone living aboard...including the crews of the tugs.


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