Capt. O’Neil (of steamer KELVINGROVE, built in Dumbarton, Scotland, in 1899)

Ruth Montgomery Collection
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Chesebro

Capt. O’Neil poses for Ruth on board his steamer KELVINGROVE on its way, perhaps, to Buenos Aires. Four years after this photo, on its return from that city, it would be detained in Cuba due to an outbreak of bubonic plague on the island. By 1900 steamships—the fastest mode of transportation—were rapidly replacing vessels such as Ruth’s home-away-from home, the wooden bark, the CARRIE WINSLOW. Within four years from when this photo was taken, Ruth’s father Adelbert Montgomery would leave the shipping trade for work in the Boston Cold Storage Warehouse. Captain O’Neil is clearly confident in the future. His surroundings are spare and reflect only his profession: note the sea clock, barometer, and Glasgow date recorder. He himself is dressed in attire that marks his stature and his profession.