Follow the River Lecture Series; From Sail to Steam to Diesel
This presentation will focus on material from Hilary Russell’s Book Tugboats and Shipyards: the Russell’s of New York Harbor: 1844-1962. Hilary will describe high points of his family’s sail lighterage firm, tugboat company, shipyards, iron works and machine shop. Thad Kubis will read from the detailed and colorful first-person narratives of the tugboat captains. On one level this is an immigrant story of a family’s accomplishments over three generations. On another, it covers the advances in marine technology from the age of sail lighters and Hudson River Sloops, to steam and then to diesel. On a third level, the book chronicles the daily lives of the men on the boats – their work, their diet, their schedules, and their many adventures in New York Harbor, up the Hudson, through the canals, to the Great lakes, along the coast, and the ports from Maine to Virginia.