Tuesday, August 30, 2011

4,173 photos from Louisville

From 1987 to 2003, a fellow named Bill Alden took hundreds of photos along the Ohio River frontage at Louisville. From what I've been told, he dropped photography and moved on to other things after that.

Mr. Alden gave my Internet buddy Barry Griffith permission to post his photos on the Web. If  you want to see photos of towboats, steamboats and other types of boats that passed Louisville over the years, check out them out at Barry's Flickr site here.

I've not reviewed all 4,173 photos yet, but the ones I've seen are pretty good. If there's an old boat you remember and want to see again, there's a chance it's in here if it got past Louisville in daylight. I've already favorited at least one -- one of a triple-screw boat built by St. Louis Ship.

And thanks to Jospeh Schneid, no slouch in photographing boats in Louisville himself, to alerting me to this. And, of course, to Mr. Alden for allowing Barry to post the photos and to Barry, too.

Here's part of what Joe told me about Mr. Alden:

I only know him from an internet site he had that contained photos along the river in Louisville and a few emails. He used a medium format rangefinder camera. I believe it was a 6x9 format, which is a good size piece of film. He apparently often rode a bike along the river. He told me that he preferred the colder months when going to some places along the Portland canal because those who might cause harm would not be out. ...  I know you will enjoy his photos but you would enjoy them more if you were from here and could see the difference 20 years makes in the waterfront, locks etc.

Joe even found one of Mr. Alden's pictures of the American Queen showing Joe himself trying to get a photo of the boat.

And Barry has a screenshot of Mr. Alden's index of photos here. The screenshot shows Mr. Alden got a photo of the Bob Benter. My son Adam and I were talking about the Bob Benter the other day. It was the first commercial towboat to lock through Greenup back in the 1950s when a strong current at the construction area for the dam forced the Corps of Engineers to put the lock in use.

So check them out. I myself plan to take some time over the next few days savoring these pictures, and Adam probably will, too.