One bell and a double jingle - what did it mean?

Conrad Milster 1.5 minutes
Cutting through ice 1 min
The last salute 1.5 min.
The boiler room 1 min.
Whistle Blow 1 min.
Bell and jingle 1 min.

One bell and a double jingle - what did it mean?

Listen to Conrad Milster's story and find out!

This story is part of the Newburgh Beacon Audio Adventure Tour and the River Voices Audio Adventure Tour. This sign is located on the Newburgh, NY waterfront. 

Conrad Milster is the Chief Engineer at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and a steamboat enthusiast. 


Sounds from Conrad's Acoustic Scrapbook

Machine sounds are like music to Conrad Milster.  He spent hours collecting the sonic details of anything steam powered and today has over 100 reel to reel tapes of historic sounds. These are some of the sounds he recorded in the 1960s while riding on the Newburgh-Beacon ferry.  

  • Cutting through ice   Listen to the sound of The Dutchess as it cuts through the ice coming into Beacon. Conrad Milster: "Oh lord it sounds like there's at ton of rocks being rotated in an oil drum. There is a tremendous rumbling roaring noise as the ice slides along the hull."
  • The Last Salute On September 3, 1963 Conrad recorded the Hudson River Day Line, Alexander Hamilton and the Newburgh Beacon Ferry as they pass each other and exchange salutes. This was the last trip of the season for the Alexander Hamilton and the Newburgh Beacon ferries would soon cease to run. 
  • The Boiler Room The Orange was still a hand fired coal burner when Conrad recorded this sound of fireman shoveling coal.  
  • The Pratt  New Year's Eve Whistle Blow began in the mid 1960's. Conrad is the Chief Engineer at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and every year he delights visitors by  welcoming the New Year with the sounds of old steam whistles. This is the Orange ferry whistle recorded at the Whistle Blow. 
  • The Bell and Jingle Listen closely and you can hear the bell and jingle of the Dutchess as it comes into the Beacon slip. Conrad explains:  "The current tended to pack the ice on the Beacon side and as the captain is coming into the slip he rings the stop bell and the stern bell and he then realizes that the ice is so packed that he hasn’t gotten close enough to the slip, so he now has to ring a full ahead bell to force the boat through the slush ice which is in the slip until he gets up to the apron and that’s what we hear.  When they arrive at the apron you can hear the double jingle, which is the finish with engines and if you listen carefully you can hear a cling, cling, cling after that which is the direction indicator swinging from Beacon to Newburg to tell the engineer that the next bell, whenever that may be, is to go in the other direction." 

Listen to the StoryScape Hudson Valley radio program "Collecting thumps, whistles and whooshes" and hear more sounds from Conrad Milster's acoustic scrapbook.

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