Friday, November 2, 2018

Friday Night Steam

Interesting video of  the engine room of the steam tug Hercules!

Grab a 'cuppa, sit back and enjoy!

Hercules Steam Tugboat
Hyde Street Pier
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park 

Built 1907

John H. Dialogue and Son, of Camden, New Jersey, built Hercules in 1907 for the San Francisco-based Red Stack fleet.
Hercules towed her sister ship, the Goliah, through the Strait of Magellan to San Francisco. Both vessels were oil-burners. Goliah carried fuel, water and supplies for her sister.
Hercules towed barges, sailing ships and log rafts between Pacific ports. Because prevailing north-west winds generally made travel up the coast by sail both difficult and circuitous, tugs often towed large sailing vessels to points north of San Francisco. In 1916, Hercules towed the C. A. Thayer to Port Townsend, Washington, in six days.
On trips back down the coast, Hercules often towed huge log rafts, laden with millions of board feet of Northwest timber, to Southern California mills. At other times, Hercules towed barges of bulk cargoes between other West Coast Ports and to Hawaii. During the construction of the Panama Canal, she towed a huge floating caisson to the Canal Zone.
In her deep-sea days, Hercules usually carried a crew of fifteen. The deep, narrow hull made life uncomfortable at times, because it rode low in the water, and the main deck was often awash. Tugboat captains were generally well-paid and highly respected. Considerable experience and judgment were required to bring a tug and a heavy tow through high seas in bad weather and to navigate the shallow bars and narrow entrances of West Coast ports.
n 1924, the Western Pacific Railroad bought Hercules to shuttle railroad car barges back and forth across San Francisco Bay between terminals in Alameda, Oakland, and San Francisco.
In 1941, her foremast was removed and the wheelhouse raised to improve visibility over the railroad cars on barges floating alongside.
Hercules now operated around the clock with two twelve-hour watches daily. A schedule of three, eight-hour watches was instituted just before World War II.
In 1962, Hercules was retired by Western Pacific and replaced by the self-propelled diesel car float Las Plumas.
Hercules was docked in Oakland until her acquisition by the San Francisco Maritime Museum in 1975.

Dialogue & Company

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Dialogue and Company shipyard as it appeared in a newspaper advertisement in New York Daily Graphic in 1875.
Dialogue & Company was a shipbuilding firm located in Camden, New Jersey. It was founded by John H. Dialogue.
Born in 1828, Dialogue moved at age 30 to Kaighn’s Point in Camden. In 1862, he and several partners founded the National Iron Armor and Shipbuilding Company, which opened a year later. The first boat to be built at the shipyard was the 25-ton screw-driven Lookout.
In 1870, the shipyard was renamed River Iron Works, Dialogue & Wood, proprietors. The first boat to be built at this facility was the 48-ton screw-driven Frank G. Fowler. On the death of Mr. Wood, Mr. Dialogue took over control of the business.
By the late 19th century, the shipyard grew to 34 acres (140,000 m2) with 2,000 feet (610 m) of waterfront, employing up to 800 workers. The shipyard produced numerous tugboats for the civilian market and for the U.S. Navy. In 1871, the shipyard was building iron vessels ordered by the Revenue Marine department, such as the United States Steamship Colfax. In 1876, the company helped restore the USS Constitution. In 1878, the yard began to build compound engine tugboats. And, during the Spanish–American War, the shipyard completed and launched the United States Navy gunboat Princeton, which was sent to the Caribbean and was decommissioned in 1919.
John H. Dialogue died in 1898. His son, John H. Dialogue, Jr., took over the business and ran it until it failed just before World War I.


  1. The Joisey Goil found a Joisey steam tugboat. :) Great story, watching the video later tonight.

    1. The best steam engines were built in Joisey!!! Yay!