Thursday, 1 December 2011

Back to the Blog: Predreadnought Photos 15: SpanAm

Back to the 'Blogface', with hopefully a bit more regularity after a period of enforced absence; hoping to ease my way back in to things somewhat gradually, so please indulge the rather soft post, namely another foray into the Pre-Dred photo collection.

These views are all of Spanish-American War U.S. vessels, and I think are unusual in that they show the ships in their wartime grey, rather than the white peace-time scheme so often seen in photos of the time.

Just to kick things off, a quick view of the vessel that started all the ruckus, namely the USS Maine, seen above in a colourised postcard view in a tragically sorry state after being raised as a wreck in 1911-1912.
The photo is by Harris and Brothers, Havana, and is subtitled "as it appeared at 25 foot level". Sadly, the remains of 36 crewmen were found in the wreck, which was re-sunk having been posing a threat to navigation in her original position.

The always informative Spanish American War website has an excellent article here:

First up then, a close-up from a stereographic view from 1898 by B.L. Lingley of the USS Brooklyn on her return from the war at Hampton Roads . Interpreting colour from black and white photography can be problematic, but I think the white flying bridge is a nice guide to provide the contrast showing the wartime grey; the majority of photos of these vessels seem to be from during the 'Victory tour' post the conflict, when they had been spruced up back in their white, so interesting to get a sense of how they actually went into battle:

Moving on, another stereographic close-up, this time the Battleship Indiana, Photograph by James M. Davis for B.W. Kilburn and Co.

A nice head-on view, an Underwood and Underwood stereograph published by J.F. Jarvis, titled U.S. Battleship 'Texas' in her "War Paint":

(did someone forget to paint the bow torpedo-tube cap cover - or maybe just the sun glinting off of it?)

Finally a fine view, copyrighted in 1898 by Strohymeyer and Wyman, we have "Our Grand Battleship Oregon - aft", again from Underwood and Underwood:

A huge stars and bars flying at the stern, and a lovely angle on those gun turrets too!

More photo-sessions to come during this month, including a Chemulpo special, so stay tuned!

(Just a quick note - not too happy about this new fangled Blogger interface "click on a photo and get a slideshow with small photos" guff currently in operation- don't know if it will work for you, but I find if you position the cursor not on the photo itself, but close to its border and then click on it, you get the old style fully clickable close-up that we all know and love.)


  1. What cracking pictures!!!
    Thanks for sharing

  2. Hi SoS,

    Welcome back old chap! lovely selection of pictures and this 'album' is turning into a great resource. Just the inspiration I need for my various naval (mis)adventures!

    All the best,


  3. Great to see you back, though a pre-dread post doesn't help me since I've been ogling this period again lately and my resistance is getting weaker!

  4. Hi guys, thanks for the comments - sorry to stay on 'silent running' for so long - hopefully back into a more settled groove from now on!

    @CJR sorry, quite a bit more to come in the way of photographic temptation, so I apologise in advance....

  5. I am a bit late as usual - welcome back!

  6. Cheers El G - hoping to see more of your 'Plan Rubber' stuff soon!

  7. You know that most of these are available in 1/1200 (ie approx 2mm scale, the same as Aeronef) here:

  8. Hey! talking of temptation, that's all I need - an excuse to expand the collection - would look pretty good though, wouldn't it - an Aeronef element to the Spanish American War - might give Spain more of a fighting chance with some European 'new fangled' aether craft versus US Pre-Dreds.... thanks for the tip!