Sail and steam pilot boats have long vanished. But then as now, harbour pilots face the same dangers as they go about their work. Even the ladders they use in boarding vessels have not drastically changed in design. Performing their job iin fair or foul weather, pilots still face the constant risk of getting injured or killed whilst going up these ladders.

The following old photographs open a window to the heroic world of harbour pilots. It is a world that is not familiar to many people.

Loodsboot in het Kanaal (Pilot boat in the Channel), 1931
Courtesy of Leiden University Libraries, Netherlands
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Pilots going out on steam pilot boat ‘New York’, 1900
Detroit Publishing Co., publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Loodsboot sleept een sloep met daarin een loods naar de Baloeran van de Rotterdamsche Lloyd te Port Said (Pilot boat tows a sloop with a pilot in it to Rotterdamsche Lloyd’s Baloeran in Port Said), 1939
Courtesy of Leiden University Libraries, Netherlands
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

The pilot coming aboard at Sandy Hook from pilot boat ‘New Yorker’, New York Harbor, 1904
H.C. White Co., publishers
Coutesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Loods komt aan boord van de Baloeran van de Rotterdamsche Lloyd te Port Said (Pilot comes aboard the Baloeran of the Rotterdamsche Lloyd in Port Said), 1939
Courtesy of Leiden University Libraries, The Netherlands
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Pilot boarding a steamship, 1920s
Photo from ‘”PILOT LORE: From Sail to Steam” published by The United New York and New Jersey Sandy Hook. Pilots Benevolent Associations (1922)

Travel back in time to the glorious age of American maritime pilotage

PILOT LORE: From Sail to Steam

 

Click on image to download this book ==>>

Steamer ‘Philadelphia’ dropping her pilot, c. 1903
Detroit Publishing Co., publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Pilot on board pilot boat after “taking out”, c. 1903
Detroit Publishing Co., publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Pilot boat No. 8, c. 1903
Detroit Publishing Co., publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Loodsboot in het Suezkanaal, gezien vanaf de Prins der Nederlanden van de Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland (Pilot boat in the Suez Canal, seen from the Prince of the Netherlands of the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland), [between 1928 and 1929]
Courtesy of Leiden University Libraries, Netherlands
Licence: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Swansea Pilot Cutter, 1845 (negative); printed later
Photo by Calvert Richard Jones (Welsh, 1802–1877)
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Pilots in their boat near Kaub, West Germany, 1955
Photo by Willem van de Poll (Dutch, 1895–1970)
Courtesy of Nationaal Archief, Netherlands

Steam pilot boat ‘New York’, 1900
Detroit Publishing Co., publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Washing down decks, 1900
Detroit Publishing Co., publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

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