Thursday, November 11, 2010

Something's missing ... maybe

This photo is from the early 1980s. In those years, I visited the West Virginia side of the Gallipolis Locks and Dam to watch boats go through the old locks. Those were the days when you could almost walk up to the edge of the lock wall and get a close look at boats going through.

Anyway, tonight I was looking at old slides from the 1980 to 1985 period, and I saw this one. I decided to scan it because it gave a closeup of the two guys on the barges as the boat went through the lock. It wasn't until I looked at the enlarged digitized image that I noticed something was missing.

The barges have no ID letters or numbers. And it looks like the parts that would have those markings hav been removed. Were they on the way to a scrap yard? Did some barges go without markings for whatever reason in that era? Am I reading too much into this?

I also noticed the barges were four wide instead of three, which makes me think they were the standard or stumbo barges we saw on the Kanawha River before the new locks were built there.

Okay, it's not exactly a thrilling mystery, and the answer would probably deflate my curiosity, but this picture did get me to wondering.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If they were 4 wide,they were the old standard barges 175'X26'. As a deckhand in those days I recall most of the markings were rubbed off. Some ID numbers were put back on the bow rakes in the cargo area not on the sides.Just a little note about those old barges,I was on the ORCO backing out of Green River and the Timberheads started to pull out of the deck. Most were built in the steamboat days.