Civil War Navy Cutter Now Launch Named 'Ruth'

| January/February 1958

  • Boiler and oilburner
    The owner, boiler and oilburner of the launch Ruth. See Mr. William's article.
  • Mr. F. L. Williams
    Mr. F. L. Williams, owner of the launch Ruth. Also the engine and volt generator, type K Navy. See Mr. William's article.
  • Steam launch Ruth
    Steam launch Ruth owned and operated by F. L. Williams, Cordova, Illinois. See article by Mr. Williams.

  • Boiler and oilburner
  • Mr. F. L. Williams
  • Steam launch Ruth

Cordova, Illinois

WELDING AND CUTting play a dramatic part in the story of the steam launch 'Ruth'. Long before she was given her present name, 'Ruth' was a 10-oar navy cutter on U.S.S. Kearsarge, of Civil War fame. 28' in length with a 7' beam and powered by muscular Navy oarsmen, she sliced smartly through salt water nearly a hundred years ago.

And the old girl is going stronger and faster today than she ever did before. She's engine powered now, but this new heart of hers isn't so young either. It's a 21 hp. cross compound built in the Mare Island Navy Yard back in 1918. In 1954 the 'new' Ruth was plying smoother waters than she used to know.

It was her new lung, the water-tube rectangular form porcupine boiler, that was cut and welded. The quills are of seamless steel tubing about the same size as ' standard pipe. They are 6' in length with one end welded shut with nickel steel rod.

There are 300 of these quills which are arc welded into ' vertical pipes, the tops of which are connected to a steam drum made of a piece of 6' extra strength pipe, the ends of which are closed by welding. The lower ends of these ' pipes are connected to a mud drum. Water is fed into one of the 2' cross drums.

Large pipes and slugs to close their ends where desired were torch cut and in most cases welded in.


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