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Stuyvesant Dock Terminal: 1900

Stuyvesant Dock Terminal: 1900

Louisiana circa 1900. "Stuyvesant elevators, docks, R.R. terminal at New Orleans." Detroit Publishing Company glass negative. View full size.


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Colorized version

I colorized a major portion of this photo. Please look here and list any comments you may have. Thanks..

Harrison Line, Liverpool

According to a German/Weimar Cigarette card book "Lloyd Reederei-Flaggen der Welt-Handelsflotte" published by the Martin Brinkmann AG Zigarettenfabrik circa 1933, the flag represents the Harrison Line, Liverpool (Charente Steamship Co., Ltd.)

The flag is a red Maltese cross on a white background.

Working in:
England to the West Indies, Gulf ports and Mexico, Brazil, and Africa

42 Cargo boats with small cabins
2 Passenger Freighters

Total Tonnage:

Shipping Company House Flags

Most commercial shipping companies had house flags that were flown from the highest mast, at least in port. There were hundreds of designs, only a portion of which were recorded in registers. I didn't find a plausible match online for the flag seen here, but found several similar designs in the 1912 edition of "Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels," a sample from which is seen here to illustrate the idea.

Where in the world?

Can anyone identify the flag atop the ship mast? It looks like a Maltese cross, but a quick search turned up no such flag.

Dead or Alive

There isn't a man dead or alive who wouldn't jump up and sit on that tender next to the sign "Keep Off" because that's the way we are wired. Gotta love us…

Backward Compatibillity

The slot and hole in the knuckle of the switcher's coupler are there to accommodate a link and pin, if a car with the just recently obsoleted (and dangerous) link and pin coupler needs to be moved. You can still see these coupler modifications on a few museum engines.

History repeating

The Stuyvesant Docks were on the Mississippi between Louisiana and Napoleon Avenues, stretching for twelve blocks before they burned in 1905. If you google that area today, you can still see the footprint of the massive railyard and the skeletal remains of the docks which burned again just a few years ago.

Pristine tracks and locomotive

What really stands out to me in this photograph is the pristine condition of the yard tracks and the 0-6-0 that is hard at work. In 1900, stub switches were still in vogue in the South and West, as was unballasted track. The frog switches show that the Illinois Central was dedicated to being a truly modern railroad, as willc's research shows. I'm fascinated by the shiny boiler jacket and controls in the locomotive's cab, I suppose the same crew ran this locomotive daily or the engine terminal really spent some time on cleaning every night. I can assure that my local Canadian National/Illinois Central yard is being switched by a diesel that is no where as clean as this little teakettle!

And in 1905

Disaster strikes.

Honoring Mr. Fish

The Stuyvesant Dock Terminal was named for Stuyvesant Fish (1851-1923), President of the Illinois Central Railroad, presumably because not even he was happy with the idea of calling it the Fish Dock Terminal. The opening of the terminal was a great leap forward for the New Orleans and Louisiana economies, and it was dedicated with "imposing ceremonies" conducted by Governor Murphy J. Foster and Mayor Walter C. Flower, on November 4, 1896, and with remarks by Mr. Fish on behalf of the railroad company.

According to the New York Times (10-26-1896), "The construction of these docks is the beginning of a great effort that the railroad will make to bring European shipments via [New Orleans] for Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati and all Western cities. The wharfage will be absolutely free to all steamers landing at the docks with interior freight for shipment by the Illinois Central Railroad, and such a saving in port charges, it is believed, will bring a great body of traffic this way."

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