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On the Ohio: 1905

On the Ohio: 1905

The Ohio River circa 1905. "The levee -- Louisville, Kentucky." This barge was last seen here; the large barrel-like containers are hogsheads of tobacco. At left, the bow of the sternwheeler Georgia Lee in a continuation of this view. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Flapping flag

No official nine-stripe design ever existed as a US flag, ensign, or jack. In an enhanced version of the photograph, it is possible to see relatively clearly that the star field is made up of pairs of rows with eight stars in one row and an uncertain number in the other. The 1896-1908 official flag was current at the time of the photograph and had 45 stars in alternating rows of eight and seven. A ghost image of the star field is visible to our right of the obvious one, and the light and dark stripes both show narrow ghost strips of the opposite brightness.

I'm fairly certain the flag's appearance is an artifact of the flag moving as the photograph was taken. It's flapping in 10 knot or so wind, and the relatively slow shutter speed caused the image to be blurred, giving the impression of only nine stripes.

[Note this enlargement: it doesn't appear that any of the stripes are fully obscured, much less four of them. The slight blurring of the boy walking down center indicates an exposure time of no more than about 1/25th of a second, if that. - tterrace]

Spirit of Kentucky?

Nevermind the hogsheads of tobacco -- is that Kentucky Bourbon in the barrels all the way over on the right?

Fly the flag

Info on 9 stripe flag here
Very interesting, things I did not know, but hey I'm English so a bit out of my remit, one is never to young to learn though


So those are hogsheads. Mark Twain described Huckleberry Finn sleeping in a "hogshead." I always wondered exactly what one looked like. Looks roomy.

Re: Stars & Nine Stripes

I believe it is what they used to call a Sea Captain's Flag, and the design dates back to the revolution.

Tell City

The steamer Tell City, advertised on the wharf boat, sank in 1917. Her beautiful wheelhouse is on display at the Ohio River Museum, Marietta OH, next to the coal fired steam towboat W. P. Snyder Jr.

Well worth the visit.

Stars & Nine Stripes

The paddlewheeler Glenmore appears to be flying a rather rare flag.

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