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MMD > Archives > July 1999 > 1999.07.04 > 02Prev  Next


Golden Whistle on the "Natchez" Steam Calliope
By Ed Gaida

The discussion on steam calliopes brought to mind the calliope aboard
the steamer "Natchez", which makes two excursion trips a day from the
wharf opposite St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.  The calliope is
played "in concert" before the departure of each cruise.

The steamship company allows visitors to all parts of the ship except
the wheel house and the area around the calliope.  If you are in New
Orleans and are a steam fan, do not miss the trip.  I usually spend
most of my time in the engine room watching that fantastic engine.

The fact that the calliope is played _before_ the cruise may have
something to do with its consumption of steam.  Does anyone have any
more details on the number of whistles?

The Delta Queen's calliope was the brain child of E. J. Quinby, a
longtime railfan, pipe organist,  general all around "character" and
a member of the board of directors of the Green Line (in those days
the operator of the ship).   The story is told that he had the highest
pitch whistle gold plated, and then informed the person in charge of
keeping the whistles polished, "Make them all look like the smallest
one!"

Fact or fiction?  Who cares.  It makes a wonderful story.

Ed Gaida
egaida@txdirect.net


(Message sent Sun 4 Jul 1999, 13:28:50 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Calliope, Golden, Natchez, Steam, Whistle

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