Nautical Gazette

Carl Wayne's Extracts from the Nautical Gazette

NAUTICAL GAZETTE has been printed from Dec. 27, 1873 thru 1954, with the following exceptions:
From Jan. 7, 1888 to Oct. 13, 1888, was called SEABOARD.
From Oct. 25, 1888 to Aug. 22, 1889, was called MARITIME REPORTER AND SEABOARD.
From Aug. 29, 1889 to Dec. 29, 1898, was called SEABOARD: A MARITIME REPORTER & NAUTICAL GAZETTE.

The following was written by Carl Wayne to describe the Nautical Gazette and his research methods.

It was a weekly magazine, about the size of a tabloid newspaper. The magazine was usually dated on Saturday, the New York columns dated Friday, and other columns earlier, so that columns could be mailed in.

The magazine prospered and thrived under the editorship of Samuel Ward Stanton, ultimately famous for his sketches of steam vessels of all types. He got out of being editor, but still made suggestions in the magazine’s direction. He managed to be in Europe, and booked passage on the TITANIC, and was lost in her sinking. The magazine went downhill from there. I checked the mag around 1921, thinking that many sales of Shipping Board tugs might be shown, only to find it a very boring list of statistics, like how many board feet of lumber had been received in NY this year versus last, and other extremely uninteresting facts. No NY Harbor notes or its equal.

At first NG was a collection of paragraphs of different topics, no particular order. Then they started the column “N Y Harbor Notes” which was a huge collection of news items and observations. As time went on they started columns for Boston, the Delaware, Albany (Upper Hudson), and others, but never got off the middle and upper Atlantic Coast.

I used to go to the NY City Public library at 42nd Street, on a Saturday, and be there when they opened at 9 a.m., get a year (or two) of NG’s (each year was bound in hard-cover), and with a couple of pens and a bunch of writing paper to make notes with, dig in. It was so damn interesting that I never stopped for lunch, tried not to break for water or bathroom trips. It was overpowering to go to the first pages and see a huge collection of harbor notes, usually covering more than one page, sometimes two, all jumbled together, needing careful scanning to find notes on tugs.
The columns listed items one after another, often without any mention of rig, so a note might state “GUMP was a Pier 9” without any mention of rig, owner, or much else. I would have to do a fast memory search of whether this vessel was something I was interested in, also the importance of the note. Often-times the note referred to something very trivial, of no real significance, and could be ignored except to note the boat’s existence.

When I did different years, I often had matured through boat knowledge. At first, I only knew of some of Cornell Steamboat’s tugs, and pretty much ignored others. Later on, I was interested in any and all NY area tugs. But it takes much effort, time, and wear & tear on the eyes to come up with these notes.

Had I become wealthy, I would have opted for buying microfilm copies and look at them at home. Then a complete study could be done.

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