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Author Topic: Newby looking for historical pics and info (1890's Mediterranean Cargo)  (Read 537 times)
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elfordo
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« on: August 28, 2018, 12:01:03 am »

Hi all, I've just joined. Very cool website! 

I'm a newby ships enthusiast and a newby amateur author (I have one book published).  I am looking to write a new project that takes place in the mid 1890s. I need general info (a photo would be great!) of what a decent size cargo ship might have generally looked like in the Mediterranean in 1896. I would prefer that it already have a few years on it by '96. My character is a seven year old boy who stows away in a ship leaving an Eastern Spain port, bound for Italy, and other ports.

So, it needs to be a ship that would fit such a route, in size and design, and large enough that my young character can remain undetected for at least long enough that, once discovered, the Captain must opt to take him along.

I'm not wanting to write about a specific ship, but a fictional one that I can invent, based on real designs of that era.

If this sounds interesting to you, I could use advice on possible stow away locations in a ship of that era, as well as duties that he might be called upon to perform to earn his keep. Information about possible shipping routes of that time would be super helpful. I'm thinking that they should make a stop in Algiers along the way. Is that even a possibility for that time?

If this is not the place to ask questions like these, can you give me advice on where/how I might find some shipping history enthusaists who might dig this kind of stuff?

Thanks,
Chris
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SteKrueBe
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 04:18:44 pm »

Hi Chris!
Just found this one:
http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=2155831
She could fit more or less for your purpose. There are plenty spaces to hide - e.g. in the cargo holds or between deck cargo. I would assume, that a young Boy in such a Situation would have been ordered either to work on deck (scrubbing deck, pecking rust, painting), help in the galley or maybe assist the Steward.
Brgds,
Stefan

NNNN
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elfordo
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018, 06:24:25 pm »

Thanks so much, Stefan.
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elfordo
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 10:46:13 pm »

Does anyone else have advice along these lines? 

I would love any hints or ideas for the ship-centered part of my story. I am brainstorming story twists and plot lines. Examples:  What does "pecking rust" mean, and what tool(s) would be used to do that?  Who might my young character come into contact with?  I'm thinking of possible characters like maybe a cabin boy, but I don't know the duties of a cabin boy or their usual ages. Would a cabin boy work directly for the captain? What other interesting or colorful characters might be on board a cargo ship in 1896? How large would a crew have been, in that era, on a ship the size that Stefan is suggesting?

I am really open to any interesting short story ideas. In a nutshell, my main character will spend a only a couple of chapters on the ship. Three at the most. It's not really a story about a voyage. Most of the main plot occurs on land, and I'm doing great with that part of the book. To fill things out and make the voyage portion fun for the reader, I want some adventures and interesting characters to come in during the short voyage section.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Chris
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