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C.E. "Bim" Argyle steamboat albums
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C.E. "Bim" Argyle steamboat albums

Accession 2015.303

Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
askhagley@hagley.org

Finding aid prepared by Laurie Sather, 2015.,

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2015-11-17T09:42-0500

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, C.E. "Bim" Argyle steamboat albums (Accession 2015.303), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: C.E. "Bim" Argyle steamboat albums
Dates: 1936, 1946-1949
Accession Number: 2015.303
Creator: Argyle, C.E., (Clarence Edward), 1927-2006
Extent: 2 volumes
Physical Description: 2 albums : leather ; 8.75 x 12.5 in. (closed). Containing 220 photographic prints : b&w ; 3.5 x 5 in. or smaller. 3 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. 2 newspaper clippings. 2 magazine clippings. 1 photographic print : b&w, hand-colored ; 8 x 10 in. 5 photographic prints : b&w ; 5 x 7 in. 1 item : letter.
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department
Abstract: Captain C.E. (Clarence Edward) "Bim" Argyle (1927-2006) was a riverboat captain for Consolidation Coal and a World War II Navy veteran. He worked primarily on steamers and coal barges along the Monongahela River in Western Pennsylvania. These two albums record Argyle's river experience between 1943 and 1950. There are portraits of his co-workers as well as many photographs of numerous commercial boats.
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Administrative Information


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

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Biographical Note

Captain C.E. (Clarence Edward) "Bim" Argyle (1927-2006) was a riverboat captain for Consolidation Coal and a World War II Navy veteran. He worked primarily on steamers and coal barges along the Monongahela River in Western Pennsylvania.

Consolidated Coal Company is an energy company established in 1860. In 1945 the company merged with another energy company, the Pittsburgh Coal Company which Argyle was working for. Argyle worked aboard Pittsburgh Coal Company's Steamer "Champion Coal." During the 1940s and 1950s riverboats were a popular method of transporting bulk cargo as it could be done at lower cost than other options.

Bim Argyle was born to Clarence (1901-1955) and Mary Jane Booth Argyle (1911-1994) in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. He had two sisters; Dorothy Everly (1929-) and Betty McKelvey (1930-2012), and a brother Robert Argyle (1935-). He lived a majority of his life in Dravosburg, Pennsylvania which is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area.

In March 1936 a combination of unusually warm weather and heavy rainfall caused the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers to flood and devastate the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The flood waters peaked at forty-six feet destroying over 100,000 buildings, contamination of the water supply, and sixty-nine deaths.

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Scope and Content

These two albums record Argyle's river experience between 1943 and 1950. There are portraits of his co-workers as well as many photographs of numerous commercial boats. The photographs within the albums are not in chronological order, however, Argyle has notated the names of individuals pictured and names of boats shown. He has also dated many of the photographs.

The snapshots of crewmen show individuals and small groups on a ship or dock. There are several individual photographs of Argyle. A few snapshots of people were taken during a visit to a beach. The images of ships are mostly of steamers, there are some diesel ships and motor boats pictured as well. The photographs are often taken a bit of a distance.

There are a few magazine clippings of ship exteriors and two newspaper articles, one about a ship and the other about Argyle's brother. One album includes photographs of the Flood of 1936.

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Access Points

Sailors
Ship captains
Steamboats.
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Series Descriptions and Inventory

Volume Page
1 1-6 Pittsburgh Coal Company, "Str. Champion Coal," 1948 [Includes small group shots of crewmen on the ship or on the dock.] ; 24 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 3 in.
Volume Page
1 7-11 Steamers exteriors, circa 1948 [Includes "Str. Vulcan"; "Str. Mongah"; "Str. New Lotus"; "Str. Reliance"; "Str. American"; "Diesel May"; "Labelle" (wheeling steel boat; Str. W.H. Colvin Jr."; "Rainbow"; "Prosperity"; a motor boat on the Allegheny River; "Str. Allegheny"; "M.B. Mary Alice"; homestead mill; and a portrait of Clara the Chambermaid.] ; 20 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 3 in.
Volume Page
1 12 1946 flood, 1946 [Includes two photographs of "Diesel New Lotus" and "Diesel Winifred" and two photographs of Bim's house and the Sea Plane Base during the flood.] ; 4 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 3 in.
Volume Page
1 13-17 Steamer exteriors, 1947, 1948 [Includes "Str. Mac Rod"; "Str. Vulcan"; "H.E. Lewis"; "Island Queen"; views of the "Island Queen" sunk; "Str. W.P. Snyder Jr."; the "M.B. C.A. Grimm" sunk; "Str. Pittsburgh Coal"; "Str. Warren Elsey"; "Str. Sailor"; "M.B. Keystone"; "M.B. Paul Blaser"; and "Str. Aliquippa."] ; 20 photographic prints : b&w ; 3.5 x 5 in.
Volume Page
1 18 Dravosburg, 1947 [Includes "Str. Allegheny"; "James E. Losz"; high water in Dravosburg; and a snapshot of Charley & Frank Allifi.] ; 3 photographic prints : b&w ; 3.5 x 5 in. 1 photographic print : b&w ; 2 x 3 in.
Volume Page
1 19 Steamers exteriors, circa 1947 [Includes "Str. Sailor"; "Str. Rezistal"; "M.V. Benwood"; and "Trojan."] ; 4 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 3 in.
Volume Page
1 20 Midland- Ldg., lock # 7, circa 1947; 4 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 3 in.
Volume Page
1 21 Big ice, 1947 [Includes "Str. Moses"; and "Rankin - Sailor."] ; 4 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 3 in.
Volume Page
1 22 Little California, Pennsylvania, circa 1947 [Includes "Old Crucible" and "M.V. Sewickley."] ; 4 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 3 in.
Volume Page
2 1-8 "Str. Champion Coal" and "Str. Champion Coal," 1944, 1949 [Includes snapshots of individuals and small groups of crewmen on the ship, a portrait of three women on the ship, an article about the Str. Voyager, and a magazine picture of a Union Barge Line ship.] ; 24 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 3 in. 1 newspaper clipping. 1 magazine clipping.
Volume Page
2 9-17 Steamers exteriors and crewmen, circa 1948 [Includes big ice; "Str. Rezistal"; "Str. Rankin": "Str. Sailor"; "Str. Clairton"; "Str. Thomas Moses"; "M.V. Lucy Jane Lucas"; "Str. Vesta"; "M.V. White Gold"; "M.V. Weiriter"; "Sprague"; "Charles R. Stevenson"; Mississippi Valley Barge Line steamer; a view of a beach; snapshots of individuals on the beach;] ; 35 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 3 in.
Volume Page
2 18 "3 Boys, Girl Rescued From Death in River," circa 1950 [Article about Bim Argyle's brother Robert Argyle who was among a group of teenagers who were thrown into the water after a barge hit the skiff they were on.] ; 1 newspaper clipping
Volume Page
2 19-23 Crewmen snapshots, 1949 [Includes "Avalon"; harbor fleet; "M.V. Arkwright"; and several portraits of Bim.] ; 12 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 3 in. 4 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 4 in.
Volume Page
2 24 "Harbor Landing" painting, circa 1950s [Painted and designed by Bim Argyle.] ; 1 photographic print : color ; 5 x 7 in.
Volume Page
2 25-34 Steamer exteriors, circa 1949 [Includes "Str. Rezistal"; "M.V. Trojan"; "W.H. Colvin"; Crucible - LDG., Midland, Pennsylvania; "M.V. Rankin"; Clairton - LDG.; "Str. Voyager"; "Baddock"; lock #2; big ice; "Sam Craig"; "Str. Sailor"; "Captsain"; Ohio Barge Line "Monogahela"; "Avalon"; "L.M. Smith"; and images of Bim's dad aboard a ship.] ; 20 photographic prints : b&w ; 3 x 4 in. or smaller. 2 photographic prints : b&w; 8 x 10 in. 1 photographic print : color ; 8 x 10 in. 3 photographic prints : b&w ; 5 x 7 in.
Volume Page
2 35, 37, 41 1936 flood, 1936; 9 photographic prints : b&w ; 2.5 x 4 in.
Volume Page
2 36 Steamboat race, undated; 1 magazine clipping.
Volume Page
2 38-40, 41 Steamer exteriors, undated [Includes "R.L. Ireland"; "Charles R. Cox."; West Elizabeth Landing; Harbor River Landing; and "Str. Monogehela."] ; 5 photographic prints : b&w ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller.
Volume Page
2 43 "Sprague," undated [Tipped into the back cover is a letter from the United States Navy calling Argyle into active duty, dated 1945 February 1.] ; 1 photographic print : b&w ; 8 x 10 in.