Maritime Monday for January 14th, 2013: 7 Days of Unalloyed Delight; Das Segelschiff Preußen and Soo Locks

Monkey Fist
Total Views: 21
January 12, 2013


Bob Clampett’s Beany and Cecil, No. 5, July-September 1963

Beany and Cecil first appeared as a hand puppet TV show in the late 40’s created by Bob Clampett.  The puppet show, entitled Time for Beany, originally aired in 1949, with the animated series first appearing in 1959.

imageOriginally created as a children’s show, the genius of the creators and writers soon became evident and the show began attracting more adults than children. The program was later retitled The Beany and Cecil Show, airing prime time on Saturdays during the 1962 TV season.

image rt full size 

After 1962, the 26 shows (including 78 cartoons) were repeated on Saturday mornings for the next five years. The cartoon featured Beany, a boy, and Cecil the Sea-Sick Sea Serpent embarking on a series of adventures, often to discover ancient civilizations and artifacts. These escapades were rife with cartoon slapstick and puns. 

The crux of Beany’s success was the intermingling of current political issues and fiascos that appeared as thinly veiled plots easily recognizable as lampoons of current political issues or personalities. The Shakespearian asides given by Beany, Cecil and the rest of the cast were magnificent and often alluded to embarrassing public fiascos or personages, on which the adult audience immediately picked up.

Beany and Cecil was also an inspiration for Joel Hodgson to create the show Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Beany & Cecil videos on YouTube


Giant squid captured on film for the first time:
Japanese film crew records elusive creature in its natural habitat

Footage of the giant squid was captured when a three-man submersible team descended to a depth of 2,066 feet (630 metres) in the northern Pacific Ocean. Once they located the animal, which was 10-feet long (3 metres), they were able to follow it down to 900m where it vanished into an ocean abyss.


Preussen-14 of 28 on OldShips





largest sailing ship ever built

The 1902 Preussen was the first ship to automate sail handling. It had no auxiliary engines for propulsion, but it made use of steam power for the operation of the winches, hoists and pumps. This limited the crew to 48 men.

Preussen had 5 masts (with a maximum height of 68 meters) and 47 sails (with a total surface area of 5,560 square meters or 60,000 square feet). It had a length of 147 meters (438 ft.) and a load-carrying capacity of 8,000 tons.

Sailing at the touch of a button
on LowTech Magazine


Das Segelschiff Preußen ★ The sailing ship Prussia
German postcard from the Kaiser Wilhelm epoch (ca. 1900)
(1311 x 2048)

imageThe Preußen  (Preussen in English) was a German steel-hulled five-masted ship-rigged windjammer built in 1902 for the F. Laeisz shipping company. It was the only ship of this class with five masts carrying six sails on each mast within the world merchant fleet.

The sturdily built ship could weather every storm and even tack in force 9 winds. In such conditions eight men had to hold the 61⁄2-foot-tall (2.0 m) double steering wheel. She was successfully used in the saltpeter trade with Chile, setting speed records in the process.

A one way trip between Germany and Chile took the cargo vessel between 58 and 79 days. The best average speed over a one way trip was 13.7 knots. The lowest average speed was 10 knots. (+)

The Preussen was also the world’s largest sailing vessel that was designed and built without an auxiliary engine. (+)

On 6 November 1910, on her 14th outbound voyage, carrying a mixed cargo including a number of pianos for Chile, the Preußen was rammed by the small British cross-channel steamer Brighton 8 nautical miles (15 km) south of Newhaven…

keep reading

image above rt: Sailing Ship Prussia


declared total wreck
Preussen ashore near Dover after collision with a cross-channel steamer, 1910

see also: The Preussen under tow


Prussia by Naval painter Roger Chapelet (1122×930)



– see also –


In the final stages of a major upgrade, the submersible Alvin is being painstakingly reassembled, piece by piece, by a one-of-a-kind team of engineers, technicians, and pilots at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Putting Alvin Back Together Again
A unique group of people reassembles the one-of-a-kind sub


SS Put-in-Bay

Great Lakes 1920’s: Passenger Steamer Ferry (Steamship) and US Mail Ship, Part of Ashley and Dustin Steamer Line near Detroit


Chicago IL Great Lakes Passenger Steamer Ferry Excursion Steamship at Chicago IL Bascule Street Bridge VO Hammon Card 1317 Unsent(1655 x 1050)

see also: Buffalo NY 1920s Wooden Great Lakes Steamer


SS NORTHLAND Underway at Mackinac, MI

Great Lakes Steamer; Excursion & US Mail Ferry
Northern Steamship Company. built 1888


SS NORTHLAND (4022 x 2400)


Vintage postcard folder from Soo, Michigan – the famous Lock City – dated 1948

imageThe U.S. locks form part of a 1.6-mile (2.6-km) canal formally named the St. Mary’s Falls Canal. The entire canal, including the locks, is owned and maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which provides free passage.

The first iteration of the US Soo Locks was completed in May 1855, and operated by the State of Michigan until transferred to the US Army in 1881.


The first Soo Locks; c. 1855


 unidentified whaleback freighter traversing the Poe Lock at Sault Ste. Marie c. 1907

Originally completed on August 3, 1895. The first ship to pass through it was the passenger ship Majestic in September 1895. It was re-built in 1968, after the Saint Lawrence Seaway opened. It is 1,200 feet (366 m) long, 110 feet (34 m) wide, and 32 feet (10 m) deep.

Poe is the only lock that can handle the large lake freighters used on the upper lakes. The original Poe Lock was engineered by Orlando Poe and, at 800 feet long and 100 feet wide (244 x 30 m), was the largest in the world when completed in 1896.

Full resolution ‎(1,549 × 954 pixels)


Joseph L. Colby


This panoramic was made from two images combined into one. Since the pictures were most likely take on glass plates, there is a few minutes between the two images. This was because the photographer had to reload his camera with a new glass plate. The result is having the Arabian appear to show up in the panoramic in two different places at the same time. (From the Library of Congress)

full sized image, click here (4.5MB)

see also: 1902 NOAA chart of Soo Harbor


Sault Ste Marie, MICH – Whaleback Steamers/Freighters
The EB BARTLETT & two others blockade at Soo Locks


Steamers waiting to Lock through at Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Canada; 1910

Closed during the winter from January through March (when ice shuts down shipping on the Great Lakes) the winter closure period is used to inspect and maintain the locks.

On the last Friday of every June, the public is allowed to go behind the security fence and cross the lock gates of the US Soo Locks for the annual Engineers Day Open House. Visitors then are able to get close enough to the ships passing through the two regularly operating locks to touch them.


Some of the folks from Engineer’s Day watching
as Roger Blough starts to leave the locks
1188 × 792


Louis W. Hill 1917 to 1936 (Producers Steamship Co.)


Loading coal in Huron, Ohio, 1940’s

Built by American Ship Building Co., Lorain, Ohio as Hull #721. Launched on July 14, 1917 as the LOUIS W. HILL for Producers Steamship Co., Cleveland, OH

see also


Valley Camp was the first boat to use the Soo Locks
in their second century of service, June 18, 1955.

see also:
One of the Fitzgerald’s lifeboats being lifted to the deck of the Valley Camp
January 14, 1976 on Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online

GEORGE W PERKINS – A Modern Freighter Leaving the Poe lock, Soo, MICH.


the longest ship on the lakes, at 1013′, Paul R. Tregurtha
pulls into the Poe Lock at the Soo Locks on Engineer’s Day

(1024 x 680)


Soo Locks  (1064 x 664)

soo lounge

Sault Ste Marie, MICH; 1920s Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge
Hotel Ojibway, looking out to Soo Locks Freighter Traffic

Soo Locks homepage
US Army Corps of Engineers, Soo Locks page


Steamship Christopher Columbus

The SS Christopher Columbus was an American excursion liner on the Great Lakes, in service between 1893 and 1933. She was the only whaleback ship ever built for passenger service.

Columbus was built between 1892 and 1893 at Superior, Wisconsin, by the American Steel Barge Company. Initially, she ferried passengers to and from the World’s Columbian Exposition. Later, she provided general transportation and excursion services to various ports around the lakes.

more on Wikipedia

imageA whaleback was a type of cargo steamship of unique design, with a hull that continuously curved above the waterline from vertical to horizontal. When fully loaded, only the rounded portion of the hull (the “whaleback” proper) could be seen above the waterline. With sides curved in towards the ends, it had a spoon bow and a very convex upper deck. It was formerly used on the Great Lakes of Canada and the United States, notably for carrying grain or ore.

The history of the Columbus is linked with that of the whalebacks, an innovative but not widely accepted ship design of the late 1880s, and of their designer, Alexander McDougall. A Scottish immigrant, Great Lakes captain, inventor and entrepreneur, McDougall developed the idea of the whaleback as a way to improve the ability of barges to follow a towing vessel in heavy seas

The term developed in common usage in response to the ship’s appearance when fully loaded. A total of 43 such vessels were constructed from 1887 to 1898. All but two were built initially as lake freighters for service on the Great Lakes.

see also:
Sailing the Great Lakes on the SS SOUTH AMERICAN and SS NORTH AMERICAN
on Cruising the Past


Whaleback steamer Joseph L. Colby; built 1890
by American Steel Barge Company, Superior, Wisconsin
1245 Gross Tons) in the Poe Lock of the Soo


Front View of SS Meteor Ship and Museum, Barker’s Island, Superior, WI
photo by Gary Knowles

SS Meteor (1896) – the sole surviving ship of the unconventional “whaleback” design; Meteor was built in 1896 in Superior, Wisconsin and, with a number of modifications, sailed until 1969. She is currently a museum ship in the city of her birth.

Meteor is at present poorly maintained; her hull is rusting and the interiors are in serious disrepair. Due to her condition, she was named one of the 10 most endangered historical properties by the Wisconsin Trust for Historic Preservation.

see also:  SS Meteor – The Last Whaleback (Set: 51)

SS Meteor Preservation and Stabilization Project


William P. Cowan 1918 to 1961 (Standard Oil Co.)
Upbound clear of the Soo Locks

see also: Unloading in Soo, Michigan on a frigid day, December 18, 1971


1918 Ad Northern Navigation Great Lakes Cruise Holton
on ebay


1902 Ad Northern SS Great Lakes Cruise Ship
on ebay


Great Lakes Cruise Ship City of Erie

Built in 1898 by the Detroit Dry Dock Company in Wyandotte, Michigan for the Cleveland Buffalo Transit Company; the SS City of Erie was a sidewheeler steamboat on Lake Erie. It was famous for being one of the fastest ships on the Great Lakes at the time. It also won a race against a newer, rival ship.

The City of Erie’s route was from Cleveland, Ohio and Erie, Pennsylvania to Buffalo, New York. It was nicknamed the “Honeymoon Special”(because of the) number of newlyweds who traveled to Buffalo, bound for Niagara Falls.

On September 27, 1909, the City of Erie collided with the schooner, T. Vance Straubenstein. The schooner sunk, drowning three people. City of Erie was taken out of service in 1938 and scrapped in Cleveland in 1941.

more on wikipedia


The 410′ SS Badger entered service in 1953, designed specifically to handle the rough conditions that it would likely encounter during year ’round sailing on Lake Michigan.

Built primarily to transport railroad freight cars, but with superior passenger accommodations, the Badger reigned as Queen of the Lakes during the car ferries’ Golden Era in the late Fifties, with Manitowoc, Milwaukee, and Kewaunee as her Wisconsin ports of call.

By the Seventies, changing railroad economics were condemning other car ferries to mothballs or the scrap yard. With little railroad freight business left, and without ever tapping into the opportunity to serve the needs of the vacation traveler, the Badger sailed from Wisconsin to Ludington and tied up for the last time in November 1990 – signaling the end of the century-old tradition of car ferry service on Lake Michigan.

keep reading


SS Badger returning to Ludington after its Memorial Day trip to Manitowoc

SS Badger doomed

WASHINGTON (WKOW) — Time appears to be running out for the last coal-burning steamship on the Great Lakes. Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that will allow authorities to force the SS Badger off the lake.

Environmentalists have wanted the nearly 60-year old ferry docked because it sends tons of coal ash into the lake on its voyages between Wisconsin and Michigan.

It’s now up to President Obama to sign the bill into law before any action can be taken.

update: Lake Michigan Carferry’s request for a permit to continue discharging coal ash from the SS Badger into Lake Michigan is now in the hands of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.

see also:
Letter writer blasts Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s
opposition to SS Badger’s coal ash permit

SS Badger on wikipedia

video: SS Badger The Steamer 43 Song by Pete Host


Badger discharges 509 tons of coal ash into Lake Michigan waters every year

Because the Badger was designated Historic Landmark status in 2009, the amendment (to the) (the Coast Guard Maritime and Transportation Act exempting vessels of “Historic Significance”) would allow it to discharge its coal ash forever. –Planet Michigan


SS TIONESTA Great Lakes Excursion Steamer & US Mail Ferry, Built 1902


SS Octorora 1910 Great Lakes Steamer; US Mail Ferry
UpNorth Memories – Donald (Don) Harrison

more: images tagged shipsantique” – “Freighters” – “Steamers


SS Milwaukee Clipper passing sand dunes at the harbor entrance in Muskegon

Retired passenger ship and automobile ferry (aka SS Juniata) that sailed under two configurations and traveled on all of the Great Lakes except Lake Ontario. Milwaukee Clipper is the only US passenger steamship left on the Great Lakes. The vessel is now docked in Muskegon, Michigan.

Sister to  SS Octorara and Tionesta (shown above) she carried 350 passengers (in staterooms at 18 knots) and freight between Buffalo, New York and Duluth, Minnesota until 1915.

That year, the anti-monopoly Panama Canal Act, which forbade railroads from owning steamships, went into effect. Divesting its marine divisions, the Pennsylvania Railroad sold its Anchor Line along with four other railroad-owned company fleets, to the newly formed Great Lakes Transit Corporation. Under this flag, she carried passengers along her old routes  for another 20 seasons. Juniata was laid up in 1937 after the closing of the Chicago World’s Fair.

In 1977, Milwaukee Clipper was purchased by Chicago interests operating out of Navy Pier. They planned to put her on a Chicago to Milwaukee run made popular by the whaleback passenger ship SS Christopher Columbus. Financial backing fell through and she remained a museum ship on Navy Pier. In December 1983, Milwaukee Clipper was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The ship is open for tours between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. Visitors can now tour the pilothouse, some staterooms, crew quarters, dance floor, soda bowl, and movie theater. A large collection of the original Art Deco furniture remains on board. She was sold on December 2, 1997 for use as a museum. The ship is now docked at 2098 Lakeshore Drive in Muskegon.

more on wikipedia

Kevin Russ’s Stunning iPhone Photos
Prove Technology Won’t Make You an Artist

iphoneKevin Russ has been traveling the western US for the last year, living mostly in his car as he captures the magic that is the wild west. And he has been creating most of his extraordinary images with that ubiquitous and all-purpose tool, the iPhone.

There is a large and raging debate happening about the role that iPhones play in photography and photojournalism, but that is not one I want to address here. Instead, I’d like to use Russ’s gorgeous photography to point out something about the use of technology to create beauty: the technology you use is, mostly, secondary.

You don’t need the latest and greatest device to be able to record the beauty of the world. You need an artistic eye, a drive to find it, and a device that you have mastered well enough to capture the moment…

via lance-on-deck


see also: Oil Rig Diver Confronted by an Angry Sea Turtle (Video)

Sometimes even the ocean’s most peaceable inhabitants can get fed-up with uninvited guests…

Crypto-nautical musical tidbit of the week:

Get Your Groove On, Sailor

video: Deadmau5 – Cthulhu Dreams (xadani9 mix)

Postcard (large letter) PORT HURON, MICH


Posing in front of the windlass on the bow, July 28, 1956
City of Munising 1938 to 1959 (more images) –

Adventures of the Blackgang on tumblr
(twitter) – (instagram)
Maritime Monday Archives »

Back to Main