Monday, August 22, 2011

Pollepel Island, 1950

Resting in the Hudson River, on Pollepel Island, is a crumbling hulk of intricate concrete and brickwork that was once Bannerman's Arsenal. In 1900, Francis Bannerman VI bought the island to store ammunition for his prosperous military surplus business; more specifically, when he bought 90% of the US army surplus after the Spanish-American War ended and needed a place outside of New York City to store it all. The arsenal (sometimes referred to as "Bannerman's Castle") was constructed from 1901 to 1908, and was modeled similar to the architecture of an old Scottish castle. A storm in 1950 sunk the ferryboat that served the island, Pollepel, and the arsenal was left more or less abandoned since then.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

near Milwaukee, 1923

At a time in history when the Milwaukee River was a commercial corridor, fireboats were an important part of fighting urban fires. Originally named the August F. Janssen, #23 was built in Sturgeon Bay in 1896 and entered service with the Milwaukee Fire Department in 1897. Named for MFD’s Engine Company 23, which operated the vessel, the 1,000-foot-long boat served Milwaukee well, using her 4,500-gallon-per-minute water pump to extinguish fires at buildings, grain elevators, and commercial vessels along the waterfront. Historical records show that #23’s machinery and pumps were sold for junk in 1922. On July 27, 1923, she was scuttled—deliberately sunk—in Lake Michigan, a few miles from Milwaukee.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

off Robin Hood's Bay, 1917

On 5 May 1917 the Filey built and owned herring coble Edith Cavell SH 216, was captured by a German U-Boat whilst fishing off Robin Hoods Bay. The crew were taken aboard the submarine and Edith Cavell was sunk by a bomb, for no other reason than the U-Boat commander found her name offensive; Edith Cavell had been a nurse in Belgium and had helped British prisoners of war to escape.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

61'30N 01'50E, 1952

D/S Edna

Built in Sunderland 1905. Previous names: Chr. Gylstorff until 1913, Anund until 1921, Kjell until 1922. Pre war history: Delivered in May-1905 from Sunderland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Sunderland, UK (229) as cargo vessel Chr. Gylstorff to D/S A/S Progress (Holm & Wonsild), Copenhagen, Denmark. Steel hull, 194.8’ x 32’ x 13.8’, 915 gt, 1275 tdwt, Tripple Expansion (NE Mar. Eng. Co. Ltd., Sunderland, UK) 123nhp, 9 knots. Sold in Apr.-1913 to Ångfartygs-AB Svithiod (H. Metcalfe), Gothenburg, Sweden, renamed Anund. Owned in 1920 by Rederi-AB Svenska Lloyd (same managers). Sold in 1921 to D/S A/S Kjell (H. H. Gjertsen), Oslo, renamed Kjell. Sold in June-1922 to D/S A/S Ryvarden (K. I. Bredsdorff & N. Chr. Sørensen), Kragerø. Sold in July that same year to Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, Bergen, renamed Edna and used in the company's cargo service between the south and north of Norway.
WW II: Edna sailed in Convoy HN 9A from Norway to the U.K. in Jan.-1940. She returned to Norway the following month with Convoy ON 12, which left Methil on Febr. 13, and later that month she joined Convoy HN 15, cargo of fresh fish for Newcastle (she had initially been in the previous convoy, HN 14, but returned to port). Early in March she joined Convoy ON 18, returning to the U.K. with Convoy HN 20, again with fresh fish for Newcastle. She subsequently went back to Norway at the very end of March with Convoy ON 24 and was still there when the Germans invaded on Apr. 9 - follow links for more info, several Norwegian ships took part in all these convoys.
In 1941 she was in cargo service between western Norway, northern Norway and eastern Finnmark, together with the company's Canis and Kora (other companies that had vessels in coastal service to eastern Finnmark found the risk of Russian aircraft attacks too great and cancelled all their sailings to this area). The Germans demanded that these sailings should take place in German convoys, so there was a lot of waiting involved, causing delays. Edna arrived Kirkenes on her first voyage in this run on Nov. 24-1941. In 1942 Edna and Canis made 2 voyages each, while Kora made 3, in 1943 Edna and Kora made 3 voyages each, Canis 1, and in 1944 all three vessels made 1 voyage each. These sailings were extremely important to the people living in this area.
NOTE: According to R. W. Jordan's records Edna was voyaging to and from Sweden in June-1944(?).
POST WAR: Sold in Aug.-1946 to Rederi-AB Hera (Albert Jansson Saltvik), Mariehamn, Finland. On March 7-1952, when on a voyage Thamshavn-Preston with wood pulp, she reported from position 61 30N 01 50E that the ship had to be abandoned. Edna and her crew subsequently disappeared.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cincinatti, 1874-1943

Price Hill Inclined Plane
length 800 feet, 350 feet high
Went to Price Hill House (No. 525 Price Ave.)

This one was unique among Cincinnati's inclines because it was really two inclines. In fact, some people count this as two making a total of six. Also, it remained private and never hauled streetcars. William Price, after whose, father, General Rees E. Price name was given to the hill top location, built it.
It was actually two planes built side by side starting at West Eight Street and Glenway Avenue and going up to West Eighth Street and Matson Avenue. The first side was built in 1874 and had two cars for passengers. The freight was finished in 1876 and could carry three or four heavily loaded wagons and their teams on open platforms. In its heyday the resort at the top caused horses and wagons to stand to line for blocks waiting their turn to get up the hill.
In 1928 the steam engines were replaced by electric motors -- the only incline to do so. In 1927 the then owner proposed that the Cincinnati Street Railway buy the incline and run the freight side only for buses. Nothing came of it, so in December 1929 the freight plane was finally shut down due to the falling-off of the number of teams being hauled. The motor truck and the improvement of the streets brought this about. However, before it shut down it carried buses.
By 1943 the passenger side was in need of so many repairs that the Incline Company decided to shut down, and so ended the second to last of the inclines. Now only Mt. Adams remained to operate five more years, and then they would all pass into history.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sydney, 1885

March 3: The Soudan contingent set sail from Sydney. "The contingent, an infantry battalion of 522 men and 24 officers and an artillery battery of 212 men, was ready to sail on 3 March 1885. It left Sydney amid much public fanfare, generated in part by the holiday declared to farewell the troops; the send-off was described as the most festive occasion in the colony's history. Support was not, however, universal, and many viewed the proceedings with indifference or even hostility. The nationalist Bulletin ridiculed the contingent both before and after its return. Meetings intended to launch a patriotic fund and endorse the government's action were poorly attended in many working-class suburbs, and many of those who turned up voted against the fund. In some country centres there was a significant anti-war response, while miners in rural districts were said to be in 'fierce opposition'."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stefurov, 1883 // Connellsville, 1897

John Picus "Jack" Quinn, born Joannes (Jan) Pajkos (July 1, 1883 - April 17, 1946), was a pitcher in Major League Baseball.
Born in Stefurov, Slovakia (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire), Quinn emigrated to America as an infant with his parents Michael Pajkos and Maria Dzjiacsko, arriving in New York on June 18, 1884. His mother died near Hazleton, Pennsylvania shortly after the family's arrival in the US, and Quinn's father moved the family to Buck Mountain, near Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania. In 1887 Quinn's father remarried, to Anastasia ("Noska") Tzar, who is frequently, and mistakenly, listed in baseball encyclopedias as Quinn's birth mother.
Quinn spent his early years working as a coal miner and blacksmith, while playing recreational ball for mining teams. He got his start as a professional in an unusual way: While watching a semi-pro game in Connellsville, the 14-year-old Quinn threw a foul ball back from the stands to the catcher, hitting his mitt right in the middle. The visiting manager, from the nearby town of Dunbar, was impressed by the throw, and he offered Quinn a contract. Quinn went on to spend 23 seasons in the major leagues with eight different teams. He won 247 games and lost 218 games, also collecting 57 saves. Quinn debuted on April 15, 1909 and he played until he was 50 years old; his final game was on July 7, 1933.
Quinn's professional longevity enabled him to achieve several age-related milestones. He is the oldest ML player to win a game, to lead his league in a major category (saves, in 1932), and to start games in the World Series (with the Philadelphia Athletics, in 1929) and on Opening Day (with the Brooklyn Dodgers, in 1931). He was the oldest to hit a home run in the majors, at age 46, until 47-year-old Julio Franco did so in 2006. He was the oldest person to ever play for the Cincinnati Reds, and at the time of his retirement, the eight teams for which he had played also constituted a record, which has since been broken. He was also the last major leaguer who had played in the 1900s decade to formally retire (not counting Charley O'Leary, who in 1934 made a comeback stint). Finally, he remains the oldest player to play regularly, having pitched 87 1/3 innings in 1932 at age 48 and 49, and 15 innings in 1933 at age 49 and 50. (Franco and Phil Niekro were also regular players at age 48, but were one and five months younger respectively during their seasons at that age.)
During his career, Quinn played alongside 31 different members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and collected two World Series rings in three tries. He was also one of the last pitchers in baseball permitted to throw the spitball, grandfathered in along with sixteen others reliant on the pitch when it was banned in 1920. He frequently used his spitball after he was grandfathered in, in addition to his fastball, curve, and changeup.
Quinn died in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, at the age of 62.