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A guide to the Nancy Olmsted scow schooner slide show, 1991 May 17
P92-108 (SAFR 23342)  
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Collection Contents

Video storage

Item No. 01.  Videocassette of Slide show lecture on the topic of scow schooners given by Nancy Olmsted with Bob Cleek, 1991 May 17

Extent: 1 videocassette.
Physical Description: 1 VHS 1/2 in. videocassette, color with sound

Scope and Content Note

Slide show lecture on the topic of scow schooners given by Nancy Olmsted with Bob Cleek in May 1991. A slide show provides photos of vessels and people. Running time is 1 hour and 55 minutes. Good audio quality.
Nancy starts the lecture by providing some background information about how she came to be involved with the history of scow schooners. Her late husband Roger Olmsted wrote his Master's thesis from the University of Nevada, "The Scow Schooners of San Francisco Bay, 1849-1949" in 1955. After Roger's death in August 1981, Nancy decided to publish his thesis as a memorial to him. She applied to the Maritime Association for a grant to the California History Center; after 4 years, Glennie Wall pushed them to give the money to the California History Center to publish the book. Two years later, in 1988, the book "Scow Schooners of San Francisco Bay" was published. Nancy added a chapter on ALMA, because when Roger finished his thesis she was still stuck in the mud flats in Alviso. Nancy also updated certain portions of the text including adding information about where scows were built (based on Sanborn insurance maps) and things that Captain Fred Klebingat said, etc.
The bulk of the lecture is about the history of scow schooners and their history in the Bay Area. Nancy mentions that there are not many letters, diaries or other written records from scow schooner captains, and that to learn about scows you need to rely on oral tradition and photographs (which are hard to find, unlike ferry boat photos which are more common). Another way to learn about scows is looking at them and seeing how they were built and/or altered.
Nancy went through the slide show and provided a historical background about the scows and photographs. When people in the audience had technical questions about how scows were built or operated, Bob Cleek would interject and answer the questions. Then, after the slide show was run through once, Bob Cleek ran through it again, talking about technical aspects of scows in all the photographs.
Shared collection box

Item No. 02-73.  Slides used in Nancy Olmsted's lecture on scow schooners, 1991 May 17

Extent: 72 photographs.
Physical Description: 72 black-and-white slides

Scope and Content Note

These slides were used in Nancy Olmsted's lecture on scow schooners. Includes photographs of Pop Anderson, Harry Dring, Erma Olsen, Isak and Ole Olsen, Roger Olmsted, men unloading bricks of a scow schooner at the Fortin's Brick Yard, a hay wharf in San Francisco, and the old ferry building circa 1885. Vessels include: ALBERTINE (scow schooner), ALMA (scow schooner), ANNIE L. (scow schooner), CAROLINE (scow schooner), CHARLES W. (scow schooner), COVINA (scow schooner), EXPRESS (scow schooner), JAMES BYRNES (scow schooner), MARY (scow schooner), MATILDA (scow schooner), MCKENNA (scow schooner), MONTEZUMA (scow schooner), PORT COSTA (scow schooner), ROBBIE HUNTER (scow schooner), UNDINE (scow schooner), WAVELET (scow schooner), and WONDER (scow schooner).
Many (possibly all?) of the slides in the presentation are the same photographs that can be found in Nancy and Roger Olmsted's book "Scow Schooners of San Francisco Bay," which can also be found in the San Francisco Maritime NHP collections.

Item 21: copy of CLASSIFIED A12.3009nl

  • Item 24: copy of CLASSIFIED C11.18563nl
  • Item 25: copy of CLASSIFIED C7.4010n
  • Item 28: copy of CLASSIFIED A12.5017n
  • Item 29: copy of CLASSIFIED A12.136pl
  • Item 37: copy of CLASSIFIED A4.5013p
  • Item 43: copy of CLASSIFIED A4.4320pl
  • Item 44: copy of CLASSIFIED A2.20683.1n
  • Item 50: copy of CLASSIFIED B6.31027pl
  • Item 57: copy of CLASSIFIED P88-010.1pl
  • Item 70: copy of CLASSIFIED B7.112pl
Shared collection box

Item No. 74-81.  Slides not included in Nancy Olmsted's lecture on scow schooners, 1991 May 17

Extent: 8 photographs.
Physical Description: 8 black-and-white slides

Scope and Content Note

These slides were not included in the presentation. Most of them have SFMNHP collection numbers written on them: A1.35,710nl; A12.8638pl; B7.405n; B7.816pl; B12.8904n; P78-449a.1292gs; P88-069.070n.