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City of Detroit: 1912

City of Detroit: 1912

Circa 1912. "Steamer City of Detroit III, pilot house and bridge." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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The ignored sense

As to the fire hose, the pin hanger accordion hose box had yet to be invented, they laid hose just like sailors faked rope, so it wouldn't tangle whilst unspooling. The greatest disappointment I have is in being unable to convey the aroma of these vessels. Modern steel and polymers have nothing on the early use of wood, canvas and grease paint. Even the cushions were filled with horse-hair, redolent with the aroma of it's source. My great-uncle owned and operated a tug in NY harbor, Ole was a taciturn Swede, but his ship was a wonder of sights and smells to an eight year old landlubber.

Also on shore

I have seen similar fire hose stowing on shore on Navy sites. Tradition is big in the Navy, aided by a philosophy of enough coats of paint will keep anything from collapsing.

Shipshape and Bristol style

Very nice vessel. It took a lot of work to keep that much white painted woodwork clean and scuff-less. I'll bet the brasswork gleamed too.

I believe the sailing ship in the background is a gaff-rigged topsail schooner.

The brand spanking new City of Detroit III

This was a larger sister ship to the City of Cleveland, pictured here a couple of days ago. The City of Detroit III was also a side-wheeler and sailed passenger trips and excursions on the Great Lakes for nearly 50 years.

This picture of the ship was taken when it was brand new. In fact, the Detroit Shipbuilding Company that built it can be glimpsed on the right.

Although the ship itself was scrapped in the 1950s, the beautiful wood paneled and stained glass windowed Gothic Room from this ship can still be seen at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle in Detroit.

My grandparents may have sailed on this ship (or the City of Cleveland) on their honeymoon cruise from Detroit to Cleveland in 1922.

The Beholder's Eye

I find the way they stow the fire-hose interesting.
But I am really interested in the sailing rig off the starboard stern.

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