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Mainstream Media: 1899

Mainstream Media: 1899

Circa 1899. "Steamboat A.W. Chesterton." Brought to you by the Boston Globe. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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The Tugboat A W Chesterton (1889-1903)

The tugboat "A W Chesterton" pictured above was launched in 1889, as one of a handful of tugs that worked out of the T Wharf in Boston, MA. She was mentioned in various newspapers articles from 1890 to 1903, towing various disabled boats from locations as varied as RI to Maine. Picking a harbor location seen in this photo will be difficult! Her days motoring under this name however came to an end in December of 1903, when she and the other six tugboats that made up the Suffolk Tugboat Company went up for auction, for "failure to pay the coal bill." She was sold to the Eastern Dredging Company for $4,500, and renamed I would assume, as no further mention of any tugboat name A W Chesterton could be found.

Boston Yacht Club

Since Chesterton was the Commodore of the Boston Yacht (not Boat) Club, then this picture was likely taken at Marblehead, where the clubhouse still is. Given the flags, it is likely a press boat on its way to New York Harbor for the 1899 or 1901 America's Cup.

Commodore of the Boston Boat Club

A.W. Chesterton founded a company, in Boston, selling steamboat supplies in 1884. The business exists to this day, greatly expanded. Chesterton himself was one time Commodore of the Boston Boat Club.

I stand corrected. It was the Boston Yacht Club. That's what happens when one goes from memory rather than looking it up. Cheers.

America's Cup?

'Circa 1899" is not much to go on, but she is decked out like the pictures I have seen of the press boats covering the America's Cup. There were two defenses in that period, Columbia against Thomas Lipton's Shamrock in 1899 and Columbia again against Lipton's Shamrock II in 1901. If this was indeed an America's Cup event then the shoreline is a bit curious because the races were held in New York Harbor.

It is possible she was based in either Marblehead or Newport, and is on her way to New York. This would explain the relatively small number of individuals on board. In any case my father would have appreciated the seamanlike manner in which her fenders are stowed.

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