The Idler - The Lamb Pleasure Boat 1898

 
From: The Clinton Herald; April 11, 1898, P. 5
Transcribed by a Clinton County IaGenWeb volunteer.

THE HOUSE BOAT.
The Beautiful New “Idler” Completed and Ready for Use.
A Floating Home With all the Convinces to be Found on Shore – Electric Lighted Steam Heated and Elegantly Furnished.

The Idler, Mrs. Lafayette Lamb’s new house boat, is now completed and furnished throughout and ready at any time for occupancy. It is the prettiest boat of its kind and the most completely furnished on the upper river. All the conveniences of modern home life are to be found on board. A large party can be accommodated and for months enjoy every comfort to be found in the best regulated home. Through the courtesy of Mr. Lafayette Lamb a HERALD reporter was shown over the boat and all the apartments described.

The boat is 120 feet long and 20 feet wide, the hull being 4 feet in depth. The lower deck is all closed in and contains the living apartments, engine rooms, etc. The upper or promenade deck is open and covered with a roof. On each side of the lower deck is a passageway running the entire length, so that one can go from fore to aft without going inside of the boat. At the stern are the two tow posts by means of which it may be towed.

Two jack staffs rise from the end of the boat and two smoke stacks at the rear give the appearance of a perfect little steamer. Derricks on each side are in readiness to lower the row boats at a moments notice. These latter of which there are four, are eighteen feet long and four feet wide. The other life-preserving apparatus consists of sixty solid cork life preservers which are placed at convenient places throughout the boat. On the roof is a 150 pound bell. The large 150 candle power electric headlight moves freely so that it can be pointed in any direction. The entire boat is provided throughout with electric lights. The boat is heated throughout with steam radiators.
They are low and when covered with rugs or upholstered may be used as seats.

In the fore part of the boat as one enters the cabin through double doors, is the saloon, a large and well lighted apartment finished off in oriental style. Rugs, divans, settees, corner seats and handsome leather covered chairs are provided for the passengers to lounge in during rainy or cold weather, while the large windows furnish a view on all sides. In the center of the room is a beautiful mahogany table inlaid with quaint designs, over which extending from the ceiling is an Oriental lantern. Around the side of the room extends a rich dado of Persian design. Jardinieres containing palms are to be found in the corners. An Aeolian grand placed in one corner will provide musical recreation for the guests.

Handsome grill work and rich Turkish portieres cover the opening to the fore and aft halls which extends back from the saloon. On each side of this hall are three sleeping rooms 6 ½ feet wide and eleven long, containing each a double bed, dresser, couch, chair and hot and cold water service. All are heated by steam radiators, lighted by electric lights and provided with electric call buttons. The rooms are all finished off in different colors.

The rear end of the hall opens into a dining room 12x15 feet. This room, as is the whole boat, is finished off in the natural hard pine wood. A blue dado extends around the sides of the room and in each corner is a china closet. The furniture of the room is all black walnut. A pretty chandelier extends from the ceiling in the center of the room. On each piece of china, glass and silverware is engraved the name of the boat, “Idler.”

Back of the dining room is the cross hall which opens at each side of the boat. Here are the switches for governing the light of the entire boat. Back from this is another fore and aft hall. Here are the stairs leading to the promenade deck on one side and opposite is the lady’s bath room. The kitchen is to be found farther back and contains a complete outfit of cooking utensils and a steel range. Opposite this is the boiler room in which a Clyde boiler furnishes steam heat. The electric lighting power is furnished by a hundred light dynamo run by an Atlas engine. Further back is the store room containing a large cold storage ice chest. The gentlemen’s bath room is next and is provided with the most complete system of sewerage. A laundry, bath room and state rooms for the help are at the rear.

The upper or promenade deck for fair weather, will be furnished with couches, swinging chairs, rugs and settees. Awnings extend away around the boat and can be let up or down in sections. The rear is separated from the fore part by a lattice work. Back of this is an eight barrel tank, supply water for the boat. Here is also a smaller drinking water tank.

The initial trip of the boat is expected to be made Tuesday, when a party will be taken to Davenport. Many of her pleasure trips have been planned for the summer. It is thought that in a few weeks as soon as the ice is out of the lakes an excursion will be made to the upper river. If navigation is possible on the Missouri, Mr. and Mrs. Lamb expect to make the trip in their boat to the Trans-Mississippi exposition at Omaha this summer.

The Wanderer, the new boat built this winter, is to tow the house boat. It is fitted throughout with all conveniences for officers and crew and will be a valuable addition to the Lamb fleet.

The officers of the boat are as follows:
Captain – Henry Fuller.
Mate – Gus Monte.
Chief engineer – E. W. Wright.
Second engineer – Chas. Fess.
Clerk – Gilbert Holmes.

The amount of true enjoyment which the owners of the boat will derive from it, cannot e estimated, going and coming at their own pleasure and not being tied down to any regular time card they will be able to enjoy the Mississippi river scenery to the utmost.