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Shipping Cotton, Galveston, Texas. @1912

Shipping Cotton, Galveston, Texas. @1912

What's interesting is the bales were not loaded using the ships equipment but pulled up the tarpaulin slides shown over the side of the vessel which using hooks must have led to many damaged bales (burst bands etc..)

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I recall loading what I was told were very high grade cotton bales in Karachi, Pakistan in the mid 1960's on break bulk ships. They were loaded into the lower hold of the vessel which must have been about 30 feet high while the tween decks were only about 10 to 15 feet high. The Bedouin longshoremen would build a bridge of cotton bales to manually heave the bales up to the height of the lower hold. There would be about 4 to 6 men around a bale manually heaving the bales up to the highest part of the hold. They would have chants, much like what must have been used by seamen on sailing ships, to coordinate their efforts to heave the bales up to the highest points. It was fascinating to watch.
 

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My father in law was a very successful cotton trader - He had a patent (lost in the mists of time) for a bale binding (cinch?) called the "Coletita" - This was my wife's "baby nickname". (Her name is Elizabeth!)
Interesting picture, thanks for posting.
Rgds.
Dave
 

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"Tote that barge, lift that bale, get a little drunk and you land in jail"
With apologies to Paul Robeson, I may not have the words right from "Old Man River"
But these were very heavy bales, the ones we loaded in Mexico in the 70's were at least 2 straps lower!
Very interesting 'nostalgia' though.
rgds
 

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In the 1990's I loaded and unloaded breakbulk cotton vessels throughout Greece, Brazil, Sudan, Odessa/Ilyichevsk and goodness knows where else, then literally overnight it was all over, containers stole 100% of the trade.

Ukraine was the most efficient, steel frames with multiple short strops with hooks on the end suspended from the vessels derrick. Smack the hook under the steel bale band and lift 20 at a time (4-5mt). In Ilyichevsk we loaded 4-4,500mt per vessel with charter parties at specifying a loading rate of 1,100mt a day. In Brazil (Fortaleza, Recife etc..) 2 gangs would board and one would work whilst the other slept. Frustrating as hell, if we reach 250-300mt per day we did well. A few bales a time in nets. Port Sudan was equally frustrating.... I had a vessel come in during ramadan. We started work at 4.30am and by 9.00am it was all over... they were dropping like flies, too hot to work without water. Bales were lifted off the back of a truck by a couple of guys and carried the short distance to the side of the vessel then put into nets. Unchanged for how many centuries?! I found these pics on the net, I'm properly just out of shot in the shade:

http://cache1.asset-cache.net/gc/450810400-dock-workers-in-port-sudan-prepare-bales-of-gettyimages.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=GkZZ8bf5zL1ZiijUmxa7QQxcsWtSrajGYO6sqSEOuAT7eyrt6iHUYZ2Oovtz%2bN%2fYqD11y3wS3a2kVq3Dj7Kibw%3d%3d
http://cache4.asset-cache.net/gc/450810340-dock-workers-in-port-sudan-prepare-bales-of-gettyimages.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=GkZZ8bf5zL1ZiijUmxa7QbcyAzFfpn6Q6NOmjXjHKEWN4YmJJoTrjJHiKufo%2fWoFXC6DqcWkRyceQPLEfn0MoQ%3d%3d and

http://cache1.asset-cache.net/gc/450813324-dock-workers-in-port-sudan-prepare-bales-of-gettyimages.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=GkZZ8bf5zL1ZiijUmxa7QfZMcuxPxAnfWx9zJuthHGpZ%2fYrnxJk0wjx3Jas3DOYrh5kebwVQOOjDvnLyNXT7EA%3d%3d

I don't miss breakbulk for a moment from a shipper's perspective, I do miss the vessels though.......
 

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