Interior plan of the blockade runners?


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#63
I just signed up here as Phantom, don't know why I didn't use my own name. I am Kevin Foster, mentioned above for my thesis which is available through East Carolina University, and in Serge Noirsain's article in the CONFEDERATE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF BELGIUM quarterly. Serge gave me a more lofty title than what I actually held. I was not Chief Historian of the National Park Service, I was Chief of the National Maritime Heritage Program, dealing with "boaty stuff" preservation, documentation, archaeology, and history. Over the years I met several folks who I know posted here, and I suspect, I met others here under other names. I have had a particular interest in American Civil War blockade runners for nearly forty years and am finally nearly finished with the revision of my thesis into an illustrated book. (note the thesis is not illustrated.) I am happy to see so much interest in my thesis, somebody actually read it!
 
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#65
Curious title - The Armed Blockade Runners of the Confederate Government - since when serving in that capacity they were generally unarmed; for example it's mentioned that the cruiser Tallahassee had her battery removed when she was assigned to blockade running.
Serge Noirsain is referring to a specific group of blockade runners, not saying all were armed. The armed runners were ships converted, or intended, (designed) to be converted into lightly armed gunboats. It is a good article but misses at least four other merchant cruisers built in London by Dudgeon.
 
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#66
Thanks! I have contacted the British Archives and asked for advice on how to research the Fergus in their site. (Was not immediately available when I searched). I also looked over the Smithsonian site, including the store and the American History Museum, and could not find the Fergus model there, nor any reference to it in the archives for researchers. A link?

I wish to heck I could see what was written on the Presto plan, as it looks like it would be very helpful. Same with the book cover -- too small and blurry. Uff! Getting closer...
Fergus and her near sistership The Dare (note the name on her register includes "The") is held by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. A near copy was redrawn by either Harold Chapelle or more likely Earl Geohegan, of the NMAH Smithsonian. The original drawings are beautiful hand-colored drawings on a single sheet. Part is torn loose. The Smithsonian plans are available from them or, usually from ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/sidewheel-...829243?hash=item2f2944abfb:g:pooAAOxyY9VRKib8
 

AndyHall

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#67
Curious title - The Armed Blockade Runners of the Confederate Government - since when serving in that capacity they were generally unarmed; for example it's mentioned that the cruiser Tallahassee had her battery removed when she was assigned to blockade running.
Sounds like sloppy terminology. Confederate riaders, warships like Tallahassee and Florida, did run the blockade when they enetered or departed a Confederate port. But that's not what's generally meant by the term "blockade runner."
 
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#69
Very very helpful. What you have given me is perfect for now, exactly what I need.
These spaces must have been very small, as (as I understand it) the runners themselves were not big.
On another note, I've never been able to understand how they were not HEARD with both paddles going. I've read of such close shaves with the blockading boats at night. It seems impossible that their engines were that quiet, and yet they (for example Tom Taylor) describe sneaking on by. Amazing.
Thanks again, and may your pen hand be strong in your upcoming book.
Lisa
Paddle wheels were not particularly loud themselves, sort of a fast, gentle splash. When moving fast they might be heard a feww hundred feet away. A small number of runners, maybe just one, used canvas curtains around the wheels to muffle even the paddle sounds. The engines were fairly quiet, certainly quieter than a gas or Diesel we would find today, their valves hiss in time to the piston strokes which themselves are quieter. The loudest potential noise is if a steamer had to stop after having run hard, then the safety valves might trip, making a loud hiss. Most runners though blew their steam off underwater instead of into the air, so a muffled boiling sound is the result.
 
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#70
Inboard plan of Will o' the Wisp, traced in (I think) the early 1960s by William E. Geoghagen of the Smithsonian Institution.

View attachment 293515
Yes, Andy, Geoghegan traced from the originals, borrowed for a few years from overseas. His tracings of several runners and raider plans were at his home when he died and were not returned to the Smithsonian. In the confusion following Geoghegan's death, the drawings were not returned to the Smithsonian. His (estranged) widow kept and later sold them to a museum librarian at another institution. He sold them privately for many years as "Sail and Steam." I do not know if they are still being produced.
 

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#71
Yes, Andy, Geoghegan traced from the originals, borrowed for a few years from overseas. His tracings of several runners and raider plans were at his home when he died and were not returned to the Smithsonian. In the confusion following Geoghegan's death, the drawings were not returned to the Smithsonian. His (estranged) widow kept and later sold them to a museum librarian at another institution. He sold them privately for many years as "Sail and Steam." I do not know if they are still being produced.
That's very unfortunate.
 

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#72
On another note, I've never been able to understand how they were not HEARD with both paddles going. I've read of such close shaves with the blockading boats at night. It seems impossible that their engines were that quiet, and yet they (for example Tom Taylor) describe sneaking on by. Amazing.
Feathering wheels (as was common on runners) were a little better than wheels with fixed floats (paddles), as the angle of each float was adjusted slightly as the wheel went 'round, entering and leaving the water at a more efficient angle, with the maximum effort (i.e., perpendicular to the motion of the boat) at the bottom of the rotation. (Think of competitive diving, where a smaller splash usually indicates better form.) These wheels splashed less at speed, and so were quieter.

Port-side wheel of Cornubia (reconstructed):
Wheel11.jpg


Wheel14.jpg
 
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#73
Born with a silver anchor in his mouth, instead of a spoon! Lucky guy.
I just signed up here as Phantom, don't know why I didn't use my own name. I am Kevin Foster, mentioned above for my thesis which is available through East Carolina University, and in Serge Noirsain's article in the CONFEDERATE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF BELGIUM quarterly. Serge gave me a more lofty title than what I actually held. I was not Chief Historian of the National Park Service, I was Chief of the National Maritime Heritage Program, dealing with "boaty stuff" preservation, documentation, archaeology, and history. Over the years I met several folks who I know posted here, and I suspect, I met others here under other names. I have had a particular interest in American Civil War blockade runners for nearly forty years and am finally nearly finished with the revision of my thesis into an illustrated book. (note the thesis is not illustrated.) I am happy to see so much interest in my thesis, somebody actually read it!
Boy did I ever read it! It occupied my entire day yesterday and half of today. Then my brain was fried and I had to go pull weeds in the garden. In any case, an EXCELLENT manuscript, and will be an excellent book. You are organized, clear, interesting, and highly informative. I am so so glad that you are publishing this, with or without photos. I look forward to reviewing it on Goodreads and Amazon when it comes out.

I am a fiction writer who's father was (before he retired) a historian of French diplomatic history (specialty le Comte de Vergennes, a French diplomat involved in negotiations related to the American Revolution). So somewhere along the way I ended up interested in history, and after putting out a few unrelated novels (fantasy) I started a 4 volume series, two volumes of which take place during the civil war. Now (thank heavens!) finally on the 4th volume, and creating a blockade runner and crew for part of that story. We historical fiction novelists are always so so grateful to you historians for helping us see, understand, and recreate, to (hopefully) tell a thrilling tale. So, thank you thank you for sharing this thesis. I really look forward to seeing the book. L.
 
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#74
Feathering wheels (as was common on runners) were a little better than wheels with fixed floats (paddles), as the angle of each float was adjusted slightly as the wheel went 'round, entering and leaving the water at a more efficient angle, with the maximum effort (i.e., perpendicular to the motion of the boat) at the bottom of the rotation. (Think of competitive diving, where a smaller splash usually indicates better form.) These wheels splashed less at speed, and so were quieter.

Port-side wheel of Cornubia (reconstructed):
View attachment 293531

View attachment 293532
 
Joined
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Messages
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#75
Wow! And so huge. It would feel intimidating if one stood where your pretend captain is standing, feeling that wheel behind, running far over your head. Do NOT fall in the water by a paddle wheel. Okay. We're agreed on that. And yes, I can see how that construction would be quiet. I swim a lot, so I get it. Hands slipping into the water sneaky sneaky... cool cool cool.
 
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#76
Paddle wheels were not particularly loud themselves, sort of a fast, gentle splash. When moving fast they might be heard a feww hundred feet away. A small number of runners, maybe just one, used canvas curtains around the wheels to muffle even the paddle sounds. The engines were fairly quiet, certainly quieter than a gas or Diesel we would find today, their valves hiss in time to the piston strokes which themselves are quieter. The loudest potential noise is if a steamer had to stop after having run hard, then the safety valves might trip, making a loud hiss. Most runners though blew their steam off underwater instead of into the air, so a muffled boiling sound is the result.
I can see how, with waves sloshing and the blockading boats creaking, this little bit of sound might just ease on by... Excellent! (Haha. Another successful run. Break out the champagne.)
 
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#78
Fergus and her near sistership The Dare (note the name on her register includes "The") is held by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. A near copy was redrawn by either Harold Chapelle or more likely Earl Geohegan, of the NMAH Smithsonian. The original drawings are beautiful hand-colored drawings on a single sheet. Part is torn loose. The Smithsonian plans are available from them or, usually from ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/sidewheel-...829243?hash=item2f2944abfb:g:pooAAOxyY9VRKib8
Thank you, I have contacted the seller RE: this plan, see how big it is. Might just invest in it. L.
 
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Messages
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#80
Feathering wheels (as was common on runners) were a little better than wheels with fixed floats (paddles), as the angle of each float was adjusted slightly as the wheel went 'round, entering and leaving the water at a more efficient angle, with the maximum effort (i.e., perpendicular to the motion of the boat) at the bottom of the rotation. (Think of competitive diving, where a smaller splash usually indicates better form.) These wheels splashed less at speed, and so were quieter.

Port-side wheel of Cornubia (reconstructed):
View attachment 293531

View attachment 293532
By the way -- do you do these reconstructions? Quite amazing.
 



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