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The beautiful TAHOE

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:39 pm
by John Coker
This was a wonderful commission. This 135 ft. twin screw cutter was built by Union Iron Works in 1896 at San Francisco. After a shakedown voyage around the bay , it was dismantled and shipped via CP and V&T to Carson, where it was transported to Glenbrook via wagon. There it was reassembled. It was scuttled in 1940, and now rests under 425 feet of the clearest water on the planet.

The painting was a commission. A certain well known artist snarkily pointed out that I suck at painting women. So I made a point of making the women on deck beautiful. It shows the cutter after its 1907 rebuild. Captain Pomin, complete with his soupstrainer mustache, is in the wheelhouse.

Re: The beautiful TAHOE

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:17 pm
by Ed Weldon
Knowing little about the subject of construction of steel hulled ships I'm give to wonder about how the Tahoe was disassembled on the coast, moved and reassembled at the lake. In today's world they would simply cut the ship into pieces, move the pieces with humongous crane and barges and then weld them back together. (Witness a recent news story about the "rescue" of a Navy minesweeper grounded on a fragile reef)
In 1896 I believe ships were riveted together and welding technology was some years into the future for ship building. Was the hull moved in pieces or or even individual steel plates or did they manage to engineer it's movement as one piece?
Did the pieces move through the tunnels at Donner Summit or some other route? Assembly at the lake must have required some substantial shipyard capability even if just temporary.
It's got to be an interesting story. Has anyone either in the past or recently put that story together?
Ed Weldon

Re: The beautiful TAHOE

Posted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:40 pm
by John Coker
Ed , it was my understanding that Union Iron Works dismantled the cutter and loaded it in manageable pieces on flat cars, keeping the tunnels and snowsheds on Donner in mind. By 1896 the railroads would give clearance specs to industrial shippers anyway. The "Tahoe" was indeed riveted together and the rivets may have been knocked off by means of cold chisels before shipment. A crew was sent with the parts to reassemble the cutter at Glenbrook.
Commercial welding was perfected in the 1920s. A 2-8-2 built for the Georgia Northern was the first all-welded locomotive boiler, delivered in '29 or '30. It still exists.The first major all-welded ship was the USS Hornet, the first true aircraft carrier (previous carriers were conversions from heavy cruisers). It sank at the Battle of Midway (I believe) in 1942.