Monday, December 21, 2015

Research aggravations

River, truck and rail move most of the cargo and freight in this country, but there seems to be a lack of easily available data on the history of certain companies that once were involved in river transport.

For example, yesterday I went online to find some history of Ohio River Co. and Dravo Mechling. If I had wanted to know when Pan Am was formed or when the Chesapeake & Ohio began operations, there would have been little trouble finding the information I needed. But river transport companies have hard-to-find histories, and that is particularly true of companies that no longer are active.

Yes, I know the river is different. Other than upscale cruises, river transport for passengers in the general public disappeared generations ago save for a few ferries. Modern towing companies have little to sell the general public, and to many of them the less we know about them the better. There are probably Homeland Security regulations they must adhere to that further distances them from the public.

The result is that I am still digging to find some dates of importance. A trip to the river archives at Cincinnati is out of the question for the time being, so I will see what I can find at the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center on my next trip up that way.

If anyone has any ideas, send them my way.

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