Murdoch17

1930s typical USA river towboat and barge MOCs - real world model pics added 6/2/22!

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Description from the Museum of Transportation's website on the real vessel I based the towboat off of:

The H.T. Pott was the first Missouri River towboat with a welded steel hull instead of a riveted hull. The vessel operated out of Kansas City, Missouri on the Missouri River.  It is named for Herman T. Pott (1895-1982), a distinguished river transportation executive and entrepreneur.  The groups of barges that are moved on the nation’s rivers are called “tows."  The boats that propel the barges are “towboats” even though they push the barges from the back instead of pulling them.  The H.T. Pott is 58 feet long and 15 feet wide, and it has a “draft” the amount of the hull below the water line of 6 feet. You can walk the decks of the H.T. Pott.

You can see a picture of the real towboat on the Museum's website here.

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Notes on the LEGO model:
The name of the vessel, HT Pott, will go on the studs just below the roofline on the bridge. Besides the lettering, two white brackets and four black curved plates are missing from the digital model. Also, a printed-cloth American flag will fly at the rear of the craft off the second level.

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The rear of the vessel, with flagpole and ladder to upper deck visible.

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I plan on putting this 1930's towboat and my 1880's Proud Mary steamboat on the depressed-height table holding my Eads bridge, to give a stereotypical view of life on the Missouri / Mississippi Rivers, both distant past, and more recently. (as the towboat worked the Missouri river traffic from '33 up until the middle 1980's.)

Now, you may be asking yourself "What good is a towboat without something for to to push up / down the river?" This was the existential question I asked myself today, and the answer I came up with shortly thereafter was "not very good".

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So, I set about building something quite commonplace if you live near any of the major rivers of the mid-western USA: a pair of un-powered barges! (I think they usually use them for grain and silica, among other bulk goods, but here they are empty, mostly because like the towboat model I made, they have open bottoms.) These type I see a lot here in Saint Louis, and are of the modern variety... although I'm unsure how long they've been using this design, to be honest.

It seems to be two barges next to each other, but in actuality, they are one big barge. I did this because less parts are used this way. I will eventually have two of these ancillary models hooked onto my tugboat / each other with 5-long LEGO chains. (these are not in the picture)

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The HT Pott is few bricks less in height (and more than a few studs shorter in length) than my 2019 sternwheeler steamboat MOC, the Proud Mary (link to it's topic).

Side note: The two being near each other like this isn't exactly an anachronism, as there were a scant few steamboats still plying the rivers when the HT Pott was built in 1933. (Granted, most steamboats had seen better days and were on the way out or retrofitted for cruising duties by then, but it's still accurate!)

Thoughts?

EDIT 6/2/22: added real world pictures.

Edited by Murdoch17

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Only 88 bricks left to find or order for my HT Pott towboat MOC! As enough parts for it have been found, construction of the hull has started.

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In the process of finding parts, I modified the flagpole into the version shown, and added curved column bricks to the front of the first deck to make it cheaper and use less bricks... I will show what I mean when it gets finished IRL.

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On 5/26/2022 at 5:46 PM, Johnny1360 said:

So glad to see it being built in real bricks and I always enjoy a little history, cool idea.

Thank you @Johnny1360, I love history, and building LEGO. This combines both hobbies in a neat and tidy package!

I just added a bit more to the first post, and ordered the final 86 parts for the towboat (no barges) earlier today. You can see the new stuff below:

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These are quite commonplace if you live near any of the major rivers of the mid-western USA: a "pair" of un-powered barges! (I think they usually use them for grain and silica, among other bulk goods, but here they are empty, mostly because like the towboat model I made, they have open bottoms.) These type I see a lot here in Saint Louis, and are of the modern variety... although I'm unsure how long they've been using this design, to be honest.

It seems to be two barges next to each other, but in actuality, they are one big barge. I did this because less parts are used this way. I will eventually have two of these ancillary models hooked onto my tugboat / each other with 5-long LEGO chains.

Edited by Murdoch17

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52116733372_2e31d236e3_z.jpg

Real world pictures of the towboat added as of now!

...the tows themselves will have to wait.

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Not my best picture, but the best of those taken... it was 98 degrees out there without the intense humidity, and the sun was in my eyes. (hence my squinting!)

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Photo taken by my dad with my camera phone of me, the real HT Pott towboat and my model of said vessel at National Museum of Transportation, in St Louis, Missouri.

Edited by Murdoch17

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