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S.S. Rotterdam: 1910

Hoboken, New Jersey, circa 1910. "S.S. Rotterdam at Holland America docks." The full panorama made from three 8x10 inch glass negatives. Landmarks of the Manhattan skyline include the Metropolitan Life tower. View full size.

Hoboken, New Jersey, circa 1910. "S.S. Rotterdam at Holland America docks." The full panorama made from three 8x10 inch glass negatives. Landmarks of the Manhattan skyline include the Metropolitan Life tower. View full size.


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"Trolley" Tracks

The tracks in the street and the box car sidings with overhead wires are not for passenger trolley cars, but for the Hoboken Manufacturers' Railway, later the Hoboken Shore RR, which hauled freight until about 1976, using electric locomotives until about 1947.

Former HAL headquarters in Rotterdam

is now called Hotel New York.

Berwind's Eureka Coal

King's Handbook of New York City, 1892.

The Berwind-White Coal Mining Company was incorporated in 1886. … The company own and operate extensive coal-mines in the Clearfield and Jefferson County [Pennsylvania] regions, and are mining what is known as the Eureka Bituminous Steam Coal.

The Berwind-White Company own 3,000 coal cars and a fleet of 60 coal barges, used exclusively for the delivery of coal to ocean steamships in New York harbor. The coal is of the highest grade of steam coal, and is supplied under yearly contract to nearly all transatlantic and coasting lines running from New York, Philadelphia and Boston, among these steamship lines being the Inman, the North German Lloyd, the Cunard, the Hamburg, and the French lines, whose gigantic and palatial ocean greyhounds have a world-wide reputation.

Good Job Dave!

Ok, I got it now. What "blew my mind" was I thought printed this way a the time! Whew, what a relief, you really had me going. Again, nice job!!!

[A century ago, the people at Detroit Publishing combined these images into panoramas the old-fashioned way. I wonder what they would think of Photoshop. - Dave]

What a Great Picture!

The Pennsylvania RR tug, the sidewheeler in the river, the coaling operation -- stuff, stuff and more stuff. Could study this picture for days and keep finding interesting tidbits. Great find.

Where to Begin

What a great image this is. Add color within the mind and actually be there, in 1910. What's astounding is how much the Rotterdam resembles much more contemporary vessels. Then look over to Manhattan and see -- shocked: only three prominent towers, which are the Plaza Hotel (1907), the Times Building (1901), and the Metropolitan Life Tower (1909).

You'd have to wonder how the Dressed Meat Company delivered fresh meat in that wagon to the passenger shipping lanes, from its "model abattoir". And how did the wagon get to Hoboken from 11th Avenue in Manhattan -- ferry boat?

Coaling Ship

At first I suspected those men dangling over the side on platforms were painting the topsides -- they could definitely use a fresh coat. However, more careful scrutiny revealed the barges alongside are piled high with the period's favorite fuel. In fact, the crew is getting the stuff into the ship's bunkers, by all accounts a laborious, dirty process. Even zoomed in as far as my equipment allows I'm not able to see the details of how they get the coal into the scuttles on the ship's side, but my guess is from there it just tumbles down a chute into the bunkers.

The white superstructure, high above the waterline, is being painted with the mop-like devices I remember from my time as a frequent passenger on the last of the ocean liners from 1963 to 1972. The painting crew is doubtless waiting for the coaling to be over so they can start applying the darker color to the topsides without having the black dust settle on their work and ruin it. Ocean liners were the queens of the ocean. Their brass was always polished and their brightwork always flawless. This photo reminds us why they needed such big crews.

Rotterdam IV

Rotterdam IV was built by Harland & Wolff Ltd for the "Holland-Amerika Lijn," as the Dutch company is called in the Netherlands. Completed in 1908, she made her maiden voyage in 1909 from Rotterdam to New York.

During World War I the ship carried soldiers and weapons from the US to France. Because of the Dutch being neutral, Germany did not suspect.

She was scrapped in 1940 in Rotterdam.

Before Frankie

This pier was at the foot of 5th Street, northeast of Hudson Park. Today, instead of a pier, you would see Frank Sinatra Park and (on the far left) Frank Sinatra Drive.

This particular SS Rotterdam sailed between 1908-1916, and 1919-1940, with a self-preservation break to avoid mines and u-boats during WWI.

This Pano Blows My Mind!

And with 8x10 glass plates you say?! I do not have the best eyesight in the world be I tried unsuccessfully to find any hint of joining or places slightly out of register. This is fantastic to me because I can't imagine how it was done.

[They're combined using Photoshop's Photomerge tool, which does most of the heavy lifting. But there are discontinuities and rips in the fabric of spacetime that must be repaired with something called Puppet Warp. With tweaking, it took me about an hour. - Dave]

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