Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wanted: A history of Dravo

Despite my attempts to find a more honest line of work, I remain employed in the news business, where I have been employed in one capacity or another for most of the past 36 1/2 years.  News people love anniversaries, and there may be one coming up that I would like to write about, but I’m having trouble finding enough good information. Thus, I’m asking for help.

Tonight on the drive home from work I got to thinking that we should be coming up on the 30th anniversary of the  closing of the Dravo shipyards near Pittsburgh. According to shipbuildinghistory.com, Dravo closed its Pittsburgh operations in 1983, although the last towboat – the William F. Plettner – may have come out in late 1982.

I’ve been looking around for a good history of Dravo, but I’ve not found one. I’ve found bits and pieces, but I need a good comprehensive history. I know I need to dig through the Waterways Journal for 1982 and 1983. And I should probably check the Pittsburgh papers for those years, too. But I need a solid history, one that tells things like how the Viking came to be, and whatever happened to Dravo, Dravo Mechling and their successor companies.

I’ll need to see what the Inland Rivers Library in Cincinnati has, and there may be one or two other sources around.

But if anyone who reads this knows of a good history of Dravo or if you know of any specific libraries that would have such material, please let me know. I’m not asking to borrow anything, and I’m not looking to spend a lot of money collecting stuff. I just need to be pointed in the right direction.