Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Some more filth

I posted some pictures and accounts about how dirty the process of coaling was here. Since then, I have trawled the internet some more, and have found some more and found some more brilliant pictures, mostly of American ships.
I also discovered this diary entry, from a former coal passer, Sailor Frederick Wilson, commenting on their lot in life in his diary:
that most humble, but necessary, evil, the lowest rating in the service, an object that isn't supposed to be human at all, but has to delve wherever dirt and grime is thickest, in back connection, in bilge, in mucky feed tank, in boiler, and in [coal] bunker. Poor coal passer! Cursed and damned by all parts of the ship, whose very foot prints are watched as he crosses spotless deck[s], who is blamed for every spot of dirt on deck and paint work as a matter of course. He is even looked askance by landsmen and marine, poor non-combatant that he is. Like many others of humble rating, his necessity and worth goes unrecognized.1

1908-1917 Sailors on board USS Isla de Luzon shovel coal.

Sailors of the battleship USS Rhode Island mug for a photo, covered in coal dust. C1913
1896-1901 Sailors stoke boilers in the fire room of the cruiser USS Brooklyn.1
Coaling ship at Honolulu, Hawaii, circa 1909-1910.
Some of the ship's firemen, apparently after coaling ship, circa 1909-1910. 2
Loading coal


Cleaning up the warship after coaling.3

Coaling the HMAS Melbourne at St Lucia. Note the native workers bringing the coal onto the ship.4




4 http://www.navy.gov.au/

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