View Poll Results: Accurate Size?

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  1. #1

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    Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    In class today my professor said that Mark Twain is probably a scale down of the real riverboats. Is this true, or is Mark Twain the real size replica of some of the riverboats?

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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    I've been on a real Mississippi river boat in Memphis. I can't remember its name off hand, but it was an original, restored boat from circa 1850.

    The Mark Twain, although lovely, is not only smaller than the real thing, its built completely different. Remember that the river boats of the 19th century were used much as cruise lines are today. They had luxury staterooms, elaborate dining rooms, parlors, gourmet kitchens, etc. Some even had casinos on board.

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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneyfreak
    In class today my professor said that Mark Twain is probably a scale down of the real riverboats. Is this true, or is Mark Twain the real size replica of some of the riverboats?
    The Mark Twain is a steam boat, only one of two still working on the west coast. The other is the elizebeth louise on the sacramento river. not all paddle whellers are steam powered. When I was at DL 2 years I got to go in the steam room of the MT because i use to work on the Elizebeth louise, I spent the whole loop talking to the guy working the steam
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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by a_hyperbole
    I've been on a real Mississippi river boat in Memphis. I can't remember its name off hand, but it was an original, restored boat from circa 1850.

    The Mark Twain, although lovely, is not only smaller than the real thing, its built completely different. Remember that the river boats of the 19th century were used much as cruise lines are today. They had luxury staterooms, elaborate dining rooms, parlors, gourmet kitchens, etc. Some even had casinos on board.
    while many river boats were very nice, most of them were built for cargo and really not very nice, many were built very cheap and had a very short life span. the boilers on many were made so cheap more than a few blew up and the boat just burnt up.
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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    Your professor is simply "professing" something without actually knowing about it. He needs to do what more professors should do - stop resting on their post-tenure laurels and do some basic research.

    The Mark Twain was constructed to strict historically correct specifications, with the highest quality materials. The paddle wheel assembly consisted of five wheels on a six-inch diameter shaft, with paddles attached. Wheel spokes and bracing were of oak and the paddle were of Douglas fir. Standards from the American Bureau of Shipping were used for all castings and forgings, and the woods were selected for their density, heart, and vertical grain. The Mark Twain's hull planking was caulked with “three threads of yacht cotton and the decking with two threads.” All planking seams were run with white lead and paved with cement. The upper deck was of grooved fir, with "veed" edges underneath, and covered with cotton duck of “approved weight laid over 2 coat of marine glue, made, smoother with ends turned and tacked to the edges.”

    In those months before Disneyland's, opening the Mark Twain rose elegantly in Fowler's Harbor (named after Admiral Joe Fowler, who oversaw the construction of Disneyland, and the assembly of the Mark Twain, for Walt Disney). The outfitting of the Mark Twain required an extensive search for gimbal lights, smoke bells, and running lights of the period and size needed.

    Firefighting buckets with rounded bottoms as used in the mid-1800’s (they wouldn’t stand upright so they couldn't be used by the dockhands, leaving the racks empty during an emergency) were made up specially. Wind resistance reports were made, testing the Mark Twain under gale storm conditions.

    Once completed, the majestic Mark Twain was beautiful... and still is today. Throughout the ship can be found a woodworking craftsmanship from a bygone era. Fencings and railings are supported by ornately turned newels and posts, curving banisters of varnished brown wood and "gingerbread" trim finished in white enamel. Cable struts which extend diagonally through the decks are attractively finished, and effectively disguised by the decorative woodwork which frames them. Ray Wallace (of Ray Wallace Special Productions, a firm which has been involved in most of the Mark Twain's refurbishing over the years) describes the graceful lines of the Mark Twain this way: "Riverboats on the Mississippi today have no traditional shape... they're straight, with no sheer, no line. Sheer is a spoon shape, as you look from the side. On the Mark Twain, the whole superstructure, as you look on an end view from the bow or the stern, is slightly slanted inward on both sides. It's not perfectly vertical, so that the Texas Deck is smaller than the Main Deck." These subtleties of design help the Mark Twain seem graceful and stately when seen along the river.

    There is no "standard" paddlewheeler (sternwheeler) size, as there were many. Some were larger than the Mark Twain to be sure - just as some were the same size or smaller. It's all part of the record and freely available to anyone who does their research...
    Last edited by Sambo; 03-08-2006 at 07:58 PM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    The larger demensions and features of full-sized riverboats are pictured in many a movie. 1994's Mavarick is one such film. Here is a picture of it's principal actors.




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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    Sambo quotes freely from the "E Tticket" magazine, although he fails to credit his source.

    The Mark Twain is undersized for a "riverboat," but does represent a "packet" or ferry boat. That it uses standard nautical "standards" is undisputed.

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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve DeGaetano
    The Mark Twain is undersized for a "riverboat," but does represent a "packet" or ferry boat. That it uses standard nautical "standards" is undisputed.
    But would packets or ferry's have been so elaborately decorated?

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  9. #9

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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    The Mark Twain is clearly intended to look larger than it actually is by way of forced perspective, so the professor is right in that regard, although Frontierland's riverboat was never a replica per se.

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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    Sambo, are you an expert on this or did you see it in an article? I was like, wow... this dude knows a lot about the Mark Twain.

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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    Everyone can copy & paste......
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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

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  13. #13

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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    Hey, leave him alone... did he ever say that he was the original source for this material? NO! He simply forgot to credit his sources - he's human.
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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist
    The Mark Twain is clearly intended to look larger than it actually is by way of forced perspective, so the professor is right in that regard, although Frontierland's riverboat was never a replica per se.
    I'm not sure any forced perspective is used...Everything on the Texas deck is the same scale as everything on the main deck. Even the pilot house is "full scale."

    Boats...trains..homes and buildings...Everything in the early 19th century was hightly decorated, so the Mark Twain's accoutrements, even for a ferry or packet, are not unusual.

    As for Sambo's post, I noted in my first post here that what he writes comes from the well-researched E Ticket magazine issue on the Mark Twain.

  15. #15

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    Re: Is the Mark Twain Riverboat a Scale of the Real Thing?

    I'm not exactly sure the purpose of this "poll". Is it trying to gauge people's opions of a fact? Or knowledge?? Who needs a poll for that; just do a little research, and there's plenty of information online about river steamboats.

    They came in all sizes, from tiny to over 300 feet in length. Their original purpose was to carry freight. On the larger ones freight was generally carried on the lowest deck (hence the "boom" on the bow of the Twain), and passengers would be carried on the upper decks.

    Is the Mark Twain "Accurate Size"? She's between tiny and 300 feet in length, so the answer is yes.

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