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Payday: 1905

Circa 1905. "Payday for the stevedores. Baltimore, Maryland." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Circa 1905. "Payday for the stevedores. Baltimore, Maryland." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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The conversation

I look at the two men beneath the helm and imagine a chief mate or officer of the watch telling the head of the stevedores how he wants things loaded, or talking to his boatswain or junior officer teaching him how to properly load or discharge cargo, what to look out for, etc... so cool!

The Bodo

was launched 10 June 1894 as the Xenia for Bergh & Helland of Bergen, Norway, by A/S Bergens MV of Bergen. Sold in 1899 to A/S Vesteraalens D/S, Narvik, and renamed Bodo, she was chartered to Di Giorgio but remained under the Norwegian flag. The vessel's funnel marking is that of the Di Giorgio firm, intended to celebrate its Italian origins. The vessel's adventure off Long Island was not its last voyage. Over the next decades she sailed as Plentigen, Polar, Samos, and Ikaria, until broken up in 1928 in Greece.

Taken before Feb 7, 1904?

The area to the north of the docks in the photo burned in the Great Fire of 1904, which occurred on February 7-8. The buildings in the background of the photo look like they were built in the 19th century and, thus, the photograph likely was taken before the Great Fire.

Banana Glut

The Baltimore Sun, April 30, 1905.

Big Receipts of Bananas

Eight steamers arrived last week from Jamaica and Cuba with 142,668 bunches of bananas, which can safely be said to be the largest weekly receipts of that fruit since the inception of the business at this port. The following were the steamers that arrived, the number of bunches and the islands from which they brought the fruit:

Steamer Bodo, Banes, Cuba, 12,716 bunches.

Bodø's last voyage

New York Times story March 21, 1906.

The banana boat

Bodø is detailed in this article, near the bottom:

"The steamship Bodø was variously described in period newspaper accounts as a United Fruit Company freighter and a Norwegian fruit freighter, but the flag on her funnel indicates that she was registered as an Italian merchant ship. In 1903 the Bodø was one of several ships transporting bananas from Jamaica and Cuba for the Di Giorgio Importing & Steamship Company of Baltimore, docking at Bowly’s Wharf. A portion of the cargo would be unloaded by stevedores on the dockside and sold directly to local wholesalers, while the larger portion was unloaded into Baltimore & Ohio Railroad boxcars on floats on the water side."


Looks like the banana boat came in, and some of the workers got a sample.

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