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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Queens: 1910

Queens: 1910

Circa 1910. "City of New York municipal ferry Queens." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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My seafaring days

When I was a a yute I worked on the Staten Island Ferry (known in one location as the New York Ferry) in the snack bar. The oldest boat at the time was the Mary Murray, built in the 1930's.


2000 passengers and 4 lifeboats. Clearly pre Titanic.


DD would stand for Department of Docks, which was the municipal agency that ran the Staten island ferries then.

Department of Docks and Ferries


Soon after Staten Island joined New York City in 1898, ferry service between St. George and Whitehall was transferred to the city Department of Docks and Ferries on October 25th 1905 and five new ferries -- one named for each of the five boroughs -- were commissioned.

This was one of those five ferries, the one named for the borough of Queens.

"Borough-Class" Ferries

Entered service October, 1905 between Whitehall Street in Manhattan and Saint George in Staten Island as part of a transition to city-owned ferry operations. Part of a five-boat commission awarded to Maryland Steel Company -- each named for a borough of the recently expanded city -- Queens was designed by the New York naval architects Millard & Maclean. The steel-hulled boat was powered by a pair of 2-cylinder steam engines driving a four-bladed, eleven-foot propeller at each end. Conveying up to 3,000 passengers across the harbor in as little as twenty minutes, Queens and the other members of the commission featured seating capacity variously reported from 1,800 to 1,900. Early practice offered women a passenger cabin of their own on the main deck, uncontaminated by the noxious fumes of their tobacco-burning brothers, sons, fathers, husbands. Seeing regular service until superseded by a new class of craft in the late 1930s, Queens was scrapped in 1947. Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx (without the "The") and Manhattan were built at Maryland Steel's Sparrow Point yard. Richmond was subbed out and built by locals at Burlee Dry Dock in Staten Island. The "D/D" on the smokestacks told all who beheld her that Queens was run by the Department of Docks... (and Ferries).

I wonder

what "DD" stands for, does anyone know?

Directionally Dependent ?

Fore, aft, bow, stern, starboard, port, etc.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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