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Steamboat Models


AmericanQueenModelDQCoCalendarNov1995EXPORT

american-queen-model-jeff-krida

DELTA QUEEN CO. 1995 calendar

image for the month of NOVEMBER

head on view of a large scale model of the AMERICAN QUEEN with an insert lower left of the J.M. WHITE's cabin

The sky and river were probably composited with the model from digital resources

Scanned from the 12 x 18 inch calendar page

The second file is a photo of what is apparently the same steamboat model with Jeffrey D. Krida, Chief Executive Officer of the American Queen Steamboat Company

Model Steamboat CASTLE ROCK diorama MO state capital Jeff City

Photo of a model of the steamer CASTLE ROCK in the Missouri State capital at Jefferson City.

Fred Way does not have a listing on this boat but I believe this is supposed to represent a locale somewhere along the Missouri River.

The smoke coming from the stacks looks like cotton candy that didn't get vacuumed often enough and was thus permeated with gray dust.

model boat photo

Above is a model in the Mark Twain Museum in Hannibal. I always liked it since it's so quaint and preserves its integrity as a home made piece done with a lot of TLC. The model must date back to perhaps the early 1900's since it's been an exhibit dating back to when it was in the relatively small stone museum next door to the Boyhood Home on Hill Street. Same old display case I'm sure also. Made in the same style nickel plated (?) framing to hold the glass together. Presently the model is at the top of the stairs near the replica pilot house.

model boats

model DK and DQ

Photos of the Delta King and Delta Queen models on board the Delta King in Old Town Sacramento.

Dave says: "Last time is was in Sacramento I took this of the twin models of the D.Q. and D.K. The name plaque is a bit dark in the photo but believe it says that Arthur D. Buck of Carmichael, CA built these two in the mid '80's."

river room

These three models are in the Dave Thomson steamboat room. The Idlewild (which later became the Avalon and ultimately the Belle of Louisville) was built in HO (a model railroad scale) by a fellow who lives up near Sacramento, have misplaced his name. I bought the Rob't E. Lee model (made from a kit) from the widow of the man who built it. The gent who built the Idlewild customized the R.E. Lee for me to replace an inaccurate pilot house and clunky looking "feathers" on top of the stacks. I bought a different kit of the R.E. Lee and salvaged the "feathers," pennant and flags from it for use in the remodeling and the model maker rebuilt the pilot house from scratch. There are still things that could be done to make this a more presentable and accurate model if I could find another craftsman willing to tackle the project.

Ken Mlyniec of the Midwest Riverboat Buffs in Keokuk built the unpainted version of the Buckeye State which I bought from in the early '90's.

Buckeye State - The Buckeye State was built at Shousetown, Pa., south of Pittsburgh. In 1849 the hull was completed and hauled up the Ohio River to Pittsburgh to be finished. Under the supervision of David Holmes, the Buckeye State was completed in February 1850. It was owned and operated by the Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line, which ran it regularly on the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. The company owned six or seven steamers at a time, and ran daily departures between the two cities. By the mid-1840s the Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line was praised by a Pittsburgh newspaper editor as "the greatest convenience . . . ever afforded the citizens on the banks of the Upper Ohio." On May 1, 1850 the Buckeye State left Cincinnati for Pittsburgh and completed the trip in a record 43 hours. Under Capt. Sam Dean, the steamer made 24 stops along the route, needing coal once and wood three times. One hundred years later, the Buckeye State still held the record for the fastest trip ever made by a steamboat between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. In 1851, showman P. T. Barnum organized a race between the Buckeye State and the Messenger No. 2 as a publicity stunt to advertise Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind's American tour. Steamboat racing was growing in popularity, and so a race was the perfect promotion. Although Lind and Barnum were aboard the Messenger No. 2, the Buckeye State won the race. The Buckeye State continued its service up and down the Ohio for six more years until it was retired and dismantled in 1857.

steamboat model
steamboat model

These Robert E. Lee momma and baby models are housed in the Dave Thomson steamboat room.

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The top photo is from the Murphy Library, (Courtesy of Murphy Library at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse; Steamboat Collection Photographs) it was taken at Galena circa the ate 1850's, early 1860's. I took the photo of the model in Galena's History Museum in 2007. The stacks on the model look taller and thinner that the ones on the actual boat but it could be an optical illusion. The following is Fred Way's history of the Golden Era in his Packet Directory:

2368 GOLDEN ERA Sidewheel packet boat built Wheeling, Va. , 1852. 249 tons.178 x 29 x 5.1. In Galena, Dunleith & Minnesota Packet Co. , 1856. She was utilized as a troop transport by the U.S. during the Civil War, making at least three trips to Vicksburg in 1863. 178 x 29 x 5.1. Sold in December 1865 to M.W. Wetmore, New Orleans, with Capt. John R. Neeld, master. Sold September 1866 to Michael Purcell, New Orleans, with Capt. Volney Brown, master. Sold November 1866 to Capt. John Kaiser, New Orleans, also part-owner. He owned her entire in 1867. Dismantled 1868.

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In 2007 during my trip to the Pacific Northwest I found some nice Columbia River models in museums there. Attached of the HARVEST QUEEN by Jim Oliver is as neat as a pin in a smaller than usual scale, probably HO (a favorite model railroad scale). The model is in The Columbia Gorge Discover Center at "The Dalles" in Washington state.

I've found varying dates on the HARVEST QUEEN spanning the 1890's to the period from 1900 to 1927. It's possible there were 2 boats by that name with the second replacing the first at the turn of the century.

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From that same 2007 trip, a very clean model of the BAILEY GATZERT (referred to as the "Daily Bastard" by those who got swamped by the wake left behind by her paddlewheel). The BAILEY is probably the most famous Columbia River steamer of them all, operating from the 1890 to 1926. She was converted to a car ferry in 1920 and finished out her career in that capacity.

Portside view taken in the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center Museum in Stevenson, Oregon across the river from Cascade Locks, Washington.

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The ModelExpo kit of the CHAPERON which John Fryant assembled for me, correcting the historical errors in the kit as he went along. Following is a transcript of his article about building the model.

S & D Reflector
December 2011
Small Stacks
A Closer Look at the CHAPERON - Part Three
Pages 32 & 33
by John Fryant

In September's column, mention was made of inaccuracies in the CHAPERON ModelExpo kit. Having recently completed one, there are some major shortcomings which I discovered.

The most obvious is the pilothouse which has windows all around and no interior detail, despite John Breynaert's plans (on which the model was based) that clearly show the typical pilothouse open front with breast board, visor, and interior details of pilotwheel, stove, lazy bench, etc. Also, the laser cut one-piece windows are a bit heavy looking, whereas there were actually three sliding windows on each side and two in back, in typical riverboat fashion. In my opinion, the windows would have been better done in photo-etched brass like the railings.

The laser cut sternwheel spoke units have omitted the outer ring of braces and are too thick. They should have been cut from 1/16" thick plywood instead of the 1/8" basswood supplied. The kit- supplied sternwheel spoke unit appears to the left in the previous photo, with a corrected version to the right. The cranks on the paddlewheel shaft are twice as long as they should be. As the CHAPERON had four foot-stroke engines, the cranks should be only 1/2 inch long center to center in 1/48th scale. The roof bell should be about twice the size of the one provided.

While the photo etched brass railings are very well done, they need cap and bottom rails. On my model I used tiny plastic channel for the top rail and plastic strips for the bottom. The plastic channel is available from Plastruct at their website (www.plastruct.com) and is product 090535. The finished railing appears in the photo below. The photo-etched brass turnbuckles look strange, as they are two-dimensional. There are many sizes of turnbuckles available from model railroad suppliers as metal or plastic castings which would have looked more realistic. The fittings that go atop the sampson posts for attachment of the hog chains are oversize. They have been cleverly designed, again in photo-etched brass, to be folded into their proper shapes, but they look too large. I omitted these entirely and ran the hog chain rods over the tops of the posts. The castings supplied for the whistles are very poorly done, having no recognizable shape. I scratch-built two whistles from brass rod and wire.

The kit box photo shows cabin doors painted red, whereas they were actually painted white, in typical steamboat fashion. The main deck is shown in natural wood, although it was probably painted with red lead or some shade of red, at least on the head of the boat and on the fantails. Some packets were done this way, with the mid portion of the deck left unpainted. The windowed sides of the skylight roof are shown painted black, as is the rub strake around the main deck. Both should be white.

There are other minor things that could be corrected, but they aren't as obvious, except to the die-hard steamboat researcher. Overall this is a nice kit that goes together almost flawlessly. Unfortunately, the above mentioned items weren't correctly done and I hope perhaps they can be corrected in future issues of the kit.

Link to the S&D Reflector - click here. # # #

Below: Proving that kittens like steamboat models too, here is Abby the kitten plotting how to get at the rigging of the CHAPERON. (Case is temporary from another model to keep boat safe until a case built to fit the cheery wood base is made.)

Lower photo: Kitten Abby gives cat blessings to a model of the Robert E. Lee.

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