Californian's boilers

Julian Atkins

Julian Atkins

Member
Hi Harland,

I do find it very difficult to navigate this site...

In the course of trying to find another thread tonight came across the following...

Californian A Dundee Story

Looks like Deborah found something similar a few years ago.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Harland Duzen

Member
Good research Harland, thanks for sharing. You have piqued my interest in the Californian, I will have to do some further reading.

Sad that she was sunk during WWI and the wreck has never been found.

Hi Harland,

I do find it very difficult to navigate this site...

In the course of trying to find another thread tonight came across the following...

Californian A Dundee Story

Looks like Deborah found something similar a few years ago.

Cheers,

Julian

Thank you Rancor (I'm glad to have intrigued you), and Thank you for the link Julian.

Also for anyone / everyone interested, I decided to write a mini-paper that will put all the Californian's newspaper articles into one place. The paper will mainly cover her construction up till her departure on her maiden voyage and give a mini summary of her subsequent career and lasting impact on the town. This should take a few weeks, but it should be finished and published here* by the end of September.

I might go a bit quiet on this topic for a bit, but what I learnt from the articles so far, turns out that the Californian had the same steering gear the Titanic had (of the Wilson-Pirrie type) and I found a brief description of how her Dynamos worked and where they were located.

Watch this space! :D

*I will probably put it onto it's own thread.
 
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Harland Duzen

Member
Just to give an update on the Californian Boiler Photos on the Dundee City Archive Flickr Page, The photos are likely dated wrong and had to have been taken on the 30th November, NOT the 29th.

Newspaper articles seem to agree that the Starboard Boiler didn't reach Reform Street and get stuck until 4AM of the 30th where it remained stuck during the day until midnight.

They are still the Californian's as no other boilers were moved during this time and several articles about the Californian mention planks being rested against the nearby building (then a branch of the Bank of Scotland) to prevent or soften any impact of the Boiler rolling off the bogey it was on (as seen in the Flickr photos).
 
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Harland Duzen

Member
Hello everyone, the website's been a bit quiet lately, but I'm just writing to say that:

A) The paper is going according to schedule and the amount of crazy facts and trivial stuff that happened around the Californian is crazy. To give another fact, she could have been built 50 - 70 ft longer had the docks not been so small.

B) On the topic of why no passengers were on board, I been recently checking newspaper listings of ship departures in the Royal Docks, London, and weirdly the Californian is never mentioned and in adverts for the Leyland Line only the Cestrian is advertised as taking passengers from the docks.

Perhaps due to economic reasons or the fact the Californian was tramp steaming and never had a fixed port to sail to or from at that time meant it was unnecessary to carry passengers.
 
Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
Harland,
Just a matter of interested looking through paperwork for California did you come across, what was her cargo?
 
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Harland Duzen

Member
I afraid Mike that (currently) I've found no info about her cargo on her "Titanic" Voyage. But I will keep looking.

However among what she "could" carry in general, I read that she could possibly carry cattle.

Hope this helps.
 
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Harland Duzen

Member
UPDATE: Good News, I've found a mention of the Californian in London! :)

The attached photo is from the London Daily News April 2nd 1912, Page 6. It would appear that the Californian arrived in London on April 1st from Havre?

I've found no mention of her departure (or cargo) yet, but it's a start.

Californian Arrival London Daily News April 2 1912 Page 6
 
Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
Hi Harland,
You mention Havre. That could go towards one claim she was carrying a rejected cotton bails for France. However why would the ship be going to Boston and not further south towards the cotton fields of USA?
 
Julian Atkins

Julian Atkins

Member
On the topic of why no passengers were on board, I been recently checking newspaper listings of ship departures in the Royal Docks, London, and weirdly the Californian is never mentioned and in adverts for the Leyland Line only the Cestrian is advertised as taking passengers from the docks.

Hi Harland,

The Leyland Line vessel SS Cestrian I agree is one of the usual candidates for the regular weekly London - Boston voyage at the time.

Interestingly the SS Cestrian played a part in the Titanic story, as it was upon this ship that Gill (as a passenger) sailed from the USA to Liverpool on 5th May 1912.

The Californian going to Le Havre is covered in your quoting of Aaron's research in your post 31 and my reply post 32.

Reade quotes The Californian then getting to the Port of London [from Le Havre] on 30th March 1912. Given that we now know Reade and Harrison were ignorant of the Le Havre stop, and the story of Ms Marie Leleun, I am quite happy to accept your date of 1st April of The Californian arriving in the Port of London, instead of Reade's 30th March.

Cheers,

Julian
 
Julian Atkins

Julian Atkins

Member
On the cattle trade from Boston to Liverpool, The Leyland Line appears to have had quite a well known trade in this cargo - which was live cattle.

It would seem to me that The Leyland Line would have used certain ships for this traffic. The Californian on it's first ever voyage to Boston on 5th March 1912, would not have been used for this traffic/cargo ever, to my mind; being far more suited for transporting cotton from the south of the USA to Liverpool and passengers, and you would not use a ship used for cotton to then transport live cattle. The Californian had 4 below decks cargo hold levels fore and aft, and very good above deck passenger accommodation.

The regular weekly advertised Boston to London and vice versa steamings including advertised passenger accommodation were not to my mind the same Leyland Line ships employed on the cattle transportation from Boston to Liverpool. The advertised regular passenger and cargo steamings to New Orleans/Memphis and Boston were clearly not to my mind any part of the live cattle trade Leyland Line ships from Boston to Liverpool.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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Harland Duzen

Member
I have seen regular mentions of the Californian during her construction of being "intended" for transporting cattle. Whether she actually did I've found no evidence yet.
 
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Robert T. Paige

Member
I just pop in here from time to time with a comment or two.

But with all the experts such as Jim Currie, Sam Halpern and others, It might be of interest to list the experience of those of us on the other side.
That is - Those of us whose experience is just about nil compared to them.
That is why I find this website and these forums so interesting and fascinating.

Here is my track record in the United States Navy.
Enlisted as ETSR
First year of duty was in training- 11 weeks recruit training at San Diego, California
Leave period after completion.
Promotion from ETSR to ETSA
Transportation on Destroyer USS McCord (DD-534) San Diego to Mare Island Naval Shipyard
Confined to berthing section and mess hall for journey
Never saw the rest of the ship
Bus trip Mare Island to Treasure Island Naval Station.
Electronics Technician School - ET rating - 36 weeks
Christmas Leave
Continued to completion.
Assigned to duty on Escort Carrier USS Sicily (CVE-118)
Some time during this, promotion from ETSA to ETSN
Leave after completion
Transportation from San Francisco to Yokosuka on Transport USNS General Daniel I. Sultan (TAP-120)
Confined to troop berthing , mess hall and forward open deck for fresh air
Had guard duty on deck on corridor for cabins for officers and families and a playground on upper deck
Stopovers in Honolulu - Liberty - and Guam - no Liberty
Transportation from Yokosuka to Sasebo on Destroyer Tender USS Bryce Canyon (AD-36)
Confined to cots set up in Torpedo Repair area and Mess Deck
Warned not to drink the "torpedo juice".
Temporary berthing and mess at Naval Receiviing Station Sasebo - Barracks Ship USS Dupage (APB-52 -???)
Finally caught up with Sicily at Sasebo. About 6 months duty - E-R Division- Training on Fire Conrol Radar System
Operatiions off coast of Korea. Return to San Diego via Honolulu - Liberty - to North Island Naval Station
Period at Naval Shipyard Long Beacn
Christmas Leave
Returned to San Diego
Transferred to Seaplane Tender USS Kenneth Whiting (AV-14) for remainder of enlistment (about 2 1/2 years) at North Island Naval Station San Diego
Two cruises to duty at Iwakuni
Visited Kintai Bridge at Iwakuni and Guided Tour of Hong Kong and Steak Dinner at Repulse Bay Hotel
Had one Shore Patrol Duty at Iwakuni - Uneventful - One little SA called me "Sir" LOL
Liberty at Honolulu, etc. each year.
Returns to San Diego each year
Christmas Leaves each year.
Promotions ETSN to ET3 and ET3 to ET2 - Would have been promoted to ET1 if I had re-enlisted
Duties as Radar Specialist. Final 6 months as Senior Petty Officer of O-E Division.
Transferred to Naval Station San Diego for "Early Separation For Convenence Of The Government".
Total Active Duty - 3 years, 10 months, 17 days
Transferred to Inactive Ready Reserve for 4 years
Completed and finally got my Honorable Discharge and completion of 8 years total Military Obligation.

Of course there are lots of other details - These are just highlghts of "My Illustrious Naval Career" ! ....LOL !

One little item - The Senior Petty Officer on Sicily was an ET1 (for purposes of identification privacy, let's call him John Jones) Years later I attended a course in Transistors at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City....The Instructor was Mr. John Jones !
 
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Robert T. Paige

Member
Thanks you, too, David
You may stand At Ease
The only ship that I was on where I even saw the Bridge was on the Kenneth Whiting. I had some Mechanical Drawing courses in High School and College. One of my last assignments on Kenneth Whiting was making a survey of the Bridge and drawing a plan for replacement of the old Radar Plan Position Indicator 'Scope (PPI) with a newer model.
I do have some good pictures of the Bridge on the Queen Mary (Hotel). We stayed in Cabin A-115 on the QM. And had a dinner in the former Verandah Grill.(Now known as "Sir Winston's" )
 
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