Talk:SS John W. Brown

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Comment by Trekphiler[edit]

I've heard Jeremiah O'Brien is the only Liberty in original condition... Trekphiler 02:52, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

True, the SS John W Brown is not as built in September 1942. Following her first voyage, the Brown was one of the 222 Liberty ships that were converted to limited-capacity troop carriers. In May and June of 1943, she was fitted out at the Hobeken Yard to carry some 350 troops in addition to 9,000 tons of cargo. These alterations included, adding accomodations in #1 and #2 'tween decks, adding large washroom and head (toilet) facilities, and adding a troop galley (kitchen). At this time she was also fitted with extra anti-aircraft guns. Following WWII, she served as a floating High School in New York, and the crew accomodations were gutted to make classrooms. The members of project Liberty Ship have now restored her back near to her 1943 wartime condition. Some changes have also been made to meet current Coast Guard requirements (radar, sanitation system, fire-fighting equipment, etc). These same USCG requirements also apply to the O'Brien, so technically the O'Brien is not truly in original condition either. Both ships have been further modified to include museum displays in the cargo spaces. -- Oldfarm 06:26, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

NRHP info[edit]

I was asked to give info, relating to my having edited here a while back. Here's some:

  • The National Register listing provides some info reflected in the NRHP infobox, and also:Name: SS
JOHN W. BROWN (Liberty Ship)
Location: Pier 1, Clinton St.
Baltimore, MD
Year of construction: 1942
Date added: November 17, 1997
Governing body: Private
Architect: Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard Balt,MD
Architecture: 
Other names: B-4611
Historic function: defense; transportation
Historic subfunction: naval facility; water-related

That is just info typed into the National Register's NRIS database, based upon its NRHP application document. It suggests that "B-4611" is one alternative name for the ship.

  • Getting the full NRHP application would provide clarity about all those pieces of info, and more. The full NRHP application would be available for free, upon request to the National Register by email to nr_reference (at) nps.gov. Anyone interested in developing this article should get that!
  • There should be some Maryland state info, summarized from the NRHP application document, available on-line already. I'll ask another editor who has developed a lot of the Maryland NRHP articles to visit, regarding that.

Hope this helps. --doncram 15:29, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

No-one associated with the SS John W. Brown and Project Liberty Ship knows what the "Other Names: B-4611" refers to. It may be something to do with the National Register's NRIS database, but the vessel itself has never been known by that name. So I am removing it for now. Regards, Oldfarm (talk) 20:51, 3 April 2011 (UTC)
Well, i just told you where it derives from, i.e. an entry in the NRHP's NRIS database. It is therefore a sourced factoid which could be mentioned in the article. So I don't see that it has to be removed from the article, but I do see that you could be uncomfortable having it in if you don't really understand what it means. I don't recognize that type of number, either, which I am guessing is specific to liberty ships or to Maryland's ships. Mainly, if you are trying to develop this article, I do suggest that you request the NRHP nomination document, which will probably be a good, reliable source and will include other useful references.
A formatting improvement which could be made for this article would be to combine infoboxes, i.e. to embed the NRHP infobox into the Ship infobox. This has been done for many ship/NRHP articles. There should be enough info given at Template:infobox NRHP, or see other ship/NRHP articles. Good luck developing this further. --doncram 21:02, 3 April 2011 (UTC)

Military Factory uses the designation as well: http://www.militaryfactory.com/ships/detail.asp?ship_id=SS-John-W-Brown-B4611. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 15:56, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

But they are unable to tell me the source of the designation - at least they have not answered any requests for clarification - so until someone can supply a verifiable source, I think it should remain off the article. Oldfarm (talk) 02:41, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
That makes sense. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 16:14, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
To Oldfarm, if you're actually doing research, i.e. sending requests for clarifications to other parties, why not get the NRHP nomination document, which may well clarify on this point (and clarify about any of the other NRHP info, and more). It is free. You just have to ask for it (and provide a postal mailing address in case they don't have an electronic version ready to send). More about NRHP docs at wp:NRHPhelp, but all you have to do is send an email to address given above. --doncram 16:46, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I am sorry, but I have found the NRHP website as incomprehensible as any typical government run operation. I have been unable to communicate with anyone at the National Register. As I said before, until someone can supply a verifiable source for the designation B4611, I think that so-called name should remain off the article.Oldfarm (talk) 19:59, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
You just send an email to nr_reference (at) nps.gov. Replace "(at)" by "@". That is a reference desk. No website navigation required. You get back an email from a real person. I don't think you should let your prior experience with government websites prevent you from getting material that another Wikipedia editor is telling you is a) easy and free to obtain, and b) likely to be pretty useful material (I can't guarantee it, but often NRHP nomination documents are 5 to 30 pages of good, useful, reliable information). How hard can it be to send an email? --doncram 15:42, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
In my case, I was told to submit a form requesting the information and given a URL to obtain the form - that URL returned a message saying it was an invalid address.Oldfarm (talk) 04:10, 16 April 2011 (UTC)
Oldfarm, I am sorry that my tone got curt and that I might have offended you. I respect your effort to do actual research on the SS John W. Brown topic. Given that you are doing actual research -- and i noticed in a sandbox in your contributions history that you were actually developing quite a lot -- I assume you really would like to get the NRHP nomination document which provides more information. Some of its info will duplicate what you have now found in some other sources. Some of its info will be the best source possible on some facts, such as why the ship was deemed NRHP-eligible at the time of its nomination. The NRHP nomination document and accompanying photos for SS John W. Brown will probably be similar to this online NRHP nomination doc from 1985 (with this corresponding set of accompanying photos) for the similar Liberty ship in California, SS Jeremiah O'Brien. However since SS John W. Brown is more recently listed, and document standards have gone up, its NRHP doc will probably be longer and better. Please believe me: the NRHP doc for SS John W. Brown is not available on-line. The reason why the doc for the SS Jeremiah O'Brien is available on-line is because it is a National Historic Landmark (a higher honor, not given to the SS John W. Brown), and the National Register made an effort to put docs online for almost all of the National Historic Landmarks, but has not done that yet for other National Register-listed ships and other places such as SS John W. Brown.
I don't know what webpage is giving you an invalid link (unless that is what you explain below in another section, about which I will comment there, later). However, http://www.nps.gov/nr/about.htm#contactus is a National Register webpage which gives the email address nr_reference@nps.gov for "Reference questions about using the National Register collection and requesting copies of nominations and publications. (If requesting information, please include your mailing address, and for nominations, please include the property name, county, and state.)" I and other editors of NRHP articles have many times successfully emailed them and received documents from them (either by return email if they have scanned the doc, or by postal mail).
Please believe me now: 1) you too can get such a document by sending an email to that address, 2) the SS John W. Brown doc is not on-line, although I will note you did well to find the Maryland Historical Society's summary of that document, and 3) the document is a good source to use in the article for at least some facts (such as for quote why the ship was deemed NRHP-eligible), and can be properly cited using its author name and preparation date and otherwise (it is a proper source that is better to cite than the undated, no-author summary of it which the Maryland Historical Society makes available). --doncram 18:42, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Ok - I have found that the designation B-4611 is used by the Maryland Historic Trust to identify the Brown in its inventory of historic places. Oldfarm (talk) 02:25, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah, good, thanks for tracking that down. Clearly not appropriate for an "also known as" statement, then. --SarekOfVulcan (talk)
Well, you could note that it is listed as that number by the Maryland Historic Trust in its list of historic sites of the state, the same as archeological sites numbers are reported, which is like an "also known as" statement. Please note, I never said this factoid had to be mentioned; I said only that it could be mentioned; I certainly agree that if mentioned it is better to explain accurately and informedly what the number means. I agree it is not important to mention it, and I would not, myself, mention it in the text. It could perhaps be included in an infobox, like the NRHP reference number is. Editor Pubdog, who developed most of the articles on NRHP-listed historic sites in Maryland, did not include such numbers in text of other articles, and there is no field for it in the NRHP infobox. --doncram 18:42, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Response to User:doncram's remarks[edit]

I was trying to understand your statement The National Register listing provides some info reflected in the NRHP infobox at the begining of this topic.
  • First I went to "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NHLs"
  • Under References I selected National Park Service. "National Historic Landmark Program: NHL Database".
  • Using a SEARCH FOR NHLs BY NAME OR LOCATION... for Liberty Ship returns only the Jerimiah O'Brien
  • Using a SEARCH FOR NHLs BY NAME OR LOCATION... for JOHN W. BROWN returns:

There are no records in the NHL database that match your search criteria. Please return to the search page by clicking the "Back to Search Page" button and modify your search.

  • Using a SEARCH FOR NHLs BY NAME OR LOCATION... for BALTIMORE and MARYLAND returns only:
:BALTIMORE (Tugboat)
:CONSTELLATION, USS (Frigate)
:LIGHTSHIP NO. 116 "CHESAPEAKE"
:TANEY, USCGC
:TORSK, USS 
  • Using an ADVANCED SEARCH FOR NHLs... for JOHN W BROWN returns :
Multiple listings for a Landmark occur when the property has more than one category of owner, has been listed as Threatened,
or placed on the Watch List in more than one year.
Which I found to be an incomprehesible response.
  • I then went to Lists of National Historic Landmarks under External links and searched for JOHN W BROWN which gave me :
The page cannot be displayed
Explanation: There is a problem with the page you are trying to reach and it cannot be displayed.
I clicked on the "CONTACT US" which took me to "http://www.cr.nps.gov/nhl/REGIONS.htm"
there I clicked on "Questions/Answers" which again gave me:
The page cannot be displayed''
Explanation: There is a problem with the page you are trying to reach and it cannot be displayed.
  • This was where I gave up with the NPS run website and googled "SS John W Brown B4611"
a couple of pages down I found a reference to "National Register Listings in Maryland" which shows that B4611 is an Inventory Number for the Maryland Historical Trust.
Which brings me back to my original statement that nobody associated with the SS John W. Brown and Project Liberty Ship knew what the number referred to.
I hope you now understand my frustration level - Regards Oldfarm (talk) 05:30, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for sharing that. Sorry if my tone earlier might have offended you. One of the first things I note, however, is that you were incorrectly assuming that the John W. Brown is a U.S. National Historic Landmark (NHL). It is not. It is one of about 85,000 historic sites or objects and historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). There about 2,500 sites and objects and historic districts that are NHLs, including the California Liberty ship SS Jeremiah O'Brien. Note, the ship is included in a Wikipedia NRHP list for its geographic area, but it is not included in the Wikipedia NHL list for Maryland. It is understandable that you would not know the distinction. But, looking for the John W. Brown in search screens for NHLs cannot lead to success.
You did do well to find that Maryland Historical Trust webpage (i.e. http://mht.maryland.gov/NR/NRDetail.aspx?HDID=1194&FROM=NRMapWA.html). I happen to know that webpage is a summary by them of the full NRHP nomination document, from my having gone through detailed comparisons of other such webpages to actual NRHP documents which are available online for some Maryland sites (including the NHL ones), in consultation with editor Pubdog a while back. Pubdog developed most of the articles about NRHP-listed places in Maryland (indexed here). I previously asked Pubdog to comment here on this page, and perhaps it would have helped if he had. He would have been able to explain the number quickly, i bet.
The NHL URL that you reached, http://www.cr.nps.gov/nhl/REGIONS.htm, seems pretty good to me. It gives you phone numbers to call, and it gives you NHL_info@nps.gov as an email address to send any inquiries. I confirm that you found a bad link from that page; when I click on Questions/Answers there i too see that it links to http://www.nps.gov/nhl/QA which just gives an error message. However you do already have all the phone and email contact info you need to ask about any National Historic Landmark. I just emailed NHL_info@nps.gov to tell them that they have a bad link on that page, and I hope they will remove it to reduce anyone else's frustration. They have responded to some previous requests by me for them to fix some other NHL webpages.
I hope this helps. I hope you do follow my advice in previous section to get the full NRHP document, since you do seem to genuinely care about developing this article on the SS John W. Brown, and since I believe that is a somewhat useful source for you to use. Good luck. --doncram 19:09, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes doncram - I did care about developing various articles on Wikipedia - and yes, I was offended by your attitude towards me. When I first started contributing to Wikipedia, it was relatively easy to figure the rules. Unfortunately, it has become almost impossible to determine what various editors want. I have tried communicating via email with NPS and get replies that I am unable to comprehend. I am too old to bother with this any more. The following link shows the form that Project Liberty Ship has that told us that the SS John W. Brown is listed in the National Register Of Historic Places : [[1]]Oldfarm (talk) 03:28, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

erroneous category[edit]

I removed "defunct school" category -seems vandalism insertion.Gogue2 (talk) 16:46, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

According to the article, "After 1946, she was loaned by the government to the City of New York, where she became a floating nautical high school, the only one in the United States", so I'd say the cat seems accurate. I'll restore it.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 17:48, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Where's the reference in what you just said. No reference, then fabrication.Gogue2 (talk) 14:02, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Any of the links referenced under "External links" will show the Brown was a floating nautical high school from 1946 until 1982, so where you think that the statement is a fabrication escapes me.Oldfarm (talk) 02:53, 18 March 2012 (UTC)