Monday, September 19, 2022

More Columbia Deets! 1979

I'm continuing to share photos from the Mysterious Benefactor, with even more details from the Columbia sailing ship. SO MANY DEETS. 

This crew member is making puffed rice ("Shot from guns"!) during the journey around the Rivers of America. It seems like a strange thing to do from our 21st century view, but in the 18th century, pretty much all foods were shot from guns. Even tacos.

Another crew member (or maybe it's the same one, who can tell?) has climbed into the shrouds to look for whales. He's never spotted a single whale on this freshwater river, but "hope springs eternal".

As a kid I was fascinated by the complex arrangements of ropes, masts, spars, and sails that were necessary to make a sailing ship move efficiently. It looks like these ropes lead up to one of the crow's nests, where delicious crow eggs could be found. I like 'em scrambled!

I'm telling you, this photographer did not miss a single detail on the Columbia! How about this pulley, eh? EH? I wonder why the ropes are black here; were they treated with creosote or some substance to make them more weatherproof? Maybe the black color just looked cool, just like the mohawks and safety-pin piercings that the sailors sported.

This lamp was lit to indicate that the Pop Tarts were fresh out of the oven. Sailors loved the warm pastry with the real fruit filling, just the thing in dirty weather. Wash 'em down with a mug of grog!

 I hope you've all learned a little bit about history today. There are lots more photos from the Mysterious Benefactor, ready to go!


Nanook said...

The M B continues to supply some great detailed images of The Columbia. Really, really nice. (Don't forget the Twinkies - that were 'shot from guns'-!)

Thanks to the M B.

JB said...

The 'sailor' in the first photo has an odd pose: He's got one hand/arm wrapped around his head, and the other is hanging onto the cannon. Maybe he knows from experience that the blast from the cannon will knock his hat off if he doesn't grab hold of it.
The guy in front of the sailor is taunting the Unfriendly Indian tribe, "Neener, neener! You can't catch us!" (Yes, I know he's just got his fingers in his ears to block out the loud noise.)

The sailor in the second photo is definitely the same guy as the first photo... 'cuz they're both wearin' the same stripey shirt. I mean, what are the odds of two different guys wearing the same type of stripey shirt? ;-)
The eagle-eyed sailor hasn't spotted any whales, but I bet he's seen his share of land sharks! You always have to be on yer toes when land sharks are in the area. (Candygram!)
I wonder if the sailor is posing for our Mysterious Mr. B (or whoever the photographer was)? Sure looks like it.

In #3: Judging by the slight irregularities in the ropes, they look like they were hand-coiled.

Just a guess, but I'd say the ropes are black around the pulley due to grease. But wouldn't that make the ropes slip? Maybe you're right about the creosote, Major. The stickiness would keep the ropes from slipping.

The shot of the lamp (and the two previous photos) are excellent detail shots. Someone was on a mission to get as many details of the Columbia as they could; and they succeeded.

Yes, I learned a whole lot of history today! Like: How to make puffed rice and tacos from cannons; whale watching; that you can only get crow eggs from crow's nests on ships; that sailors sport mohawks and safety-pin piercings to look cool; and last but not least, you know the Pop Tarts are ready when the ship's lamps are lit. Think of all the school kids who will undoubtedly get "A"s on their homework assignments after reading all this historical stuff! You provide a great service, Major. Many thanks!
And thanks to the Mysterious Benefactor once again.

TokyoMagic! said...

I think the Krispy Kreme corporation copied the Sailing Ship Columbia, by having a special light turn on, whenever their glazed donuts are coming out of the fryer.

Does that first sailor have mutton chops? Because my Disneyland Orientation Book clearly states that mutton chops are not allowed! We were told that side burns could not extend below the ear. Or was it "below the ear lobe"? Maybe that guy had unusually long ear lobes.

Thank you Major, and M.B.!

Chuck said...

Pop Tarts and grog - the breakfast of champions! I appear to have neither in the larder this morning, so I will temper my expectations for the day.

I am digging that sailor’s period-accurate chronometer, worn on his left wrist so he can tell what time “eight bells” is. He’s got a hot date with a boatstess and he doesn’t want to be late.

TM!, those aren’t his sideburns - that sailor is cradling an actual mutton chop between his cheek and shoulder. There were no microwaves in the 1790s, so he had to find another way to heat up his lunch. He has a Twinkie pressed against the other side of his head, ready in case he runs out of puffed rice.

Stu29573 said...

Major, your knowledge of history certainly is...something!
I could go for a Pop Tart about now, but all I have is a Chips Ahoy! It'll have to do.
Many thanks to MB!

Melissa said...

He's never spotted a single whale on this freshwater river, but "hope springs eternal".

Can you not see Fudgie from the river?

I wonder why the ropes are black here; were they treated with creosote or some substance to make them more weatherproof?

Hemp ropes were treated with tar; that's why sailors were called "tars" or "Jolly Jack tars." "A British Tar is a Soaring Soul" is one of my favorite numbers from HMS Pinafore.

Today's pictures are lovely and very atmospheric. Postcardworthy, brochureworthy, magazineworty, documentaryworthy, photo essayworthy. I can practically hear the foghorn and the seagulls and taste the hardtack. The M.B. has outdone themself!

JG said...

Today is all about the details!

With all this new knowledge, there is no need to feel “at sea” on the Columbia. Being on an artificial circular land-locked river doesn’t hurt either.

Text me when the Pop-Tart lantern is lit!


K. Martinez said...

"He's never spotted a single whale on this freshwater river, but "hope springs eternal""

But didn't the Columbia sail on the same "dark water" system as Storybook Land and Monstro the Whale?

Always enjoy M.B.'s "FRO" series.

Thanks, M.B. and Major too!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I’m trying to imagine a “puffed” Twinkie. They are already kind of puffed, but more puffed? Count me in!

JB, sailor’s ways are strange to us landlubbers. Seeing that one guy trying to protect the ear closest to the cannon makes me wonder why they didn’t give those fellows some “flesh-colored” earplugs. That cannon is LOUD. Land sharks used to roam the plains in herds so large that it took days for them to pass; that is before “Shark Steve” killed most of them for their teeth. Hand-coiled ropes taste the best! I was thinking that creosote might be plentiful, and it would also help to keep the ropes from rotting in wet conditions. But maybe they used tar? Not sure if they did on ropes. I think whoever took these Columbia shots overdid it a bit, but as you said, they managed to capture some excellent details. I’m happy to have passed on some of my nautical knowledge, it feels good to be of service.

TokyoMagic!, I didn’t want to say it, but you picked up on the little secret that Krispy Kreme doesn’t want you to know about. I’m not sure if those sideburns qualify as “mutton chops”, but they still don’t appear to be “standard Disneyland regulation”. Maybe they got an exemption? In older photos, some men who worked in Frontierland were allowed to have mustaches, and even beards.

Chuck, back then they had Pop-Tarts filled with chutney. Savory, and it provided healthful vitamin C. That chronometer was made by the famous master watchmaker, Josiah Timex. Your comment about the sailor keeping an actual mutton chop reminds me of one of the Aubrey/Maturin books, in which Dr. Maturin keeps part of a mutton chop in his shirt pocket, and it leaves a grease stain. Yum.

Stu29573, when you’ve been at sea for as long as I have, you forget that ‘lubbers don’t always understand our ways!

Melissa, I’m afraid Fudgie tended to be on the other side of the Matterhorn, because he was shy. Thank you for the info about the tar on ropes. I was hit on the head with a marlin spike, so I sometimes forget stuff. It must have been quite a thing to maintain a ship’s legendary cleanliness with tar-covered ropes.

JG, stay tuned for more details. MANY more! Maybe too many? When you think about it, the oceans are in a circle too. (JG’s mind completely blown).

K. Martinez, the water might have been dark, but it was still fresh. Funky fresh, as my homies say. Because I grew up in the streets. Some say I invented rap, but I merely perfected it.

Anonymous said...

Major, the Greeks referred to Oceanus as circular, and in support of your thesis, I offer the following:

"For all at last return to the sea- to Oceanus, the ocean river, like the ever-flowing stream of time, the beginning and the end.” — Rachel Carson


Anonymous said...

Also, the best pop-tarts are the tuna-filled ones.


Anonymous said...

Maybe a little 5 o'clock shadow on the CM in the first pic, but you are correct. At that time the sideburns were only to the bottom of the ear lobe. And no ear rings...though at times, I'd put on a click-on to play the part...but only on the boat and not back at the dock for fear of a supervisor's wrath! Did that on Pirates too for fun now and then. I found after a while on, they felt uncomfortable to me. Some thing with rings...can't tolerate them to this day.

I am perplexed with the first picture. When you look closely, the cannon is being held by another person who is totally obscured by the ear-protecting guest. And from the look of the fingernails, I would say that is female guest who has been allowed to fire the cannon. The CM is certainly in an odd position. It looks as if he is hanging on to something..he would surely fall backwards in the position he is in without support.

Ah yes...8 bells. My guess this is an afternoon shot so it's either 2pm or 4pm. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, see?? Even Rachel Carson agrees with me. Er… she was married to Johnny, right?

JG, all of the meat-flavored Pop-Tarts are beloved by children everywhere. I’m still mad that they discontinued the chopped liver flavor.

KS, I would imagine that it would be all too easy to forget the clip-on earring! You never got caught or in trouble? Speaking of clip-on earrings, my grandmother never got her ears pierced, so all she wore were clip-ons, and I would think about having those things clamped onto earlobes for the whole day. Like a form of torture! I agree with you that the first photo looks “off”, but too much is hidden or out of frame to be sure what’s going on.

Melissa said...

Chicken Pop-Pie!

JB said...

Tokyo!, maybe the Columbia CMs were allowed to 'break the rules' for authenticity sake. Like some of the CMs with beards, driving the Stagecoaches and such. (Edit: As Major notes, a little later.)

Chuck, "Pop Tarts and grog - the breakfast of champions!"- That line got me thinking about the old SNL ad/skit with John Belushi (an athlete, in training) sitting down to a big bowl of "little chocolate donuts".

Melissa, Ah! Tar! Now the ropes AND the old term for sailor makes sense! Yet another Mystery of Mysteries solved here on GDB. The world should turn to us for the answers to all its vexing questions, like puffed rice and tacos.

JG, "Text me when the Pop-Tart lantern is lit!" You need an app for that. ($10 upcharge)

Major, Shark Steve was buddies with Jackalope John. Along with Buffalo Bill, they nearly wiped out three of early America's most plentiful species. Don't even get me started on Passenger Pigeon Paul.
Major, are you sure the sailor's watch wasn't made by Sir Albert Timex?

Melissa said...

And his colleague, Dr. Timex Schweitzer.

Chuck said...

Right - the team that perfected the lick-proof watch!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, my favorite!

JB, I am guessing that it is true about certain CMs being allowed to have facial hair. I wonder if that rankled the other CMs who had to stay clean-cut? I remember the “little chocolate donuts” film vividly, that’s an early episode. I’ve read in books that on hot days in the tropics, tar would drip from above onto the pristine deck, it must have been coming from the rigging. Passenger Pigeon Paul! That jerk. I remember reading about the passenger pigeons when I was a kid, and how incredible it was that every single one was killed.

Melissa, I thought it was Dr. Albert Rolex.

Chuck, I’ve never met a watch I can’t lick. Much to the consternation of people on the bus.

Dean Finder said...

Tar seems to be a mainstay of 19th century technology. At the canal museum I volunteer at, I explain how the cables were made of iron (predating steel) and had to be protected from rust with tar. Some poor guy had the job of standing over a cauldron of hot tar and painting the cables, leaving a tar puddle that exists to this day.

Major Pepperidge said...

Dean Finder, you volunteer at a canal museum? Cool! The Erie Canal? The Soo Locks? Or something else? Sure, that job painting the cables with hot tar was tough, but that guy was popular with the ladies. Tar smells so manly.

Anonymous said...

No facial hair on my watch...nor during my stay...allowed on any attraction! KS

Dean Finder said...

It's the Morris Canal, which ran across northern NJ from the Delaware River where boats picked up loads of Pennsylvania coal to the industrial cities of NJ and NYC. Most of it was filled in or reused after abandonment in the 1920s, but a few sections remain, including a historic village in Stanhope called Waterloo where the canal society has a museum.