Steamboat Illustrations, Page 11

stockers landing illustration

This just in STOCKER'S LANDING On the Blackwater Levee, Circa 1905. Compliments of Killark Electric Mfg. Co. St. Louis, MO, 1977. Killark Electric is a leading manufacturer of electrical construction products for standard, harsh and hazardous environments. Including conduit raceway fittings, junction boxes, enclosures, lighting fixtures, plugs & receptacles, distribution equipment and standard and custom controls.

CONCORDIA (1906-1914)

Sternwheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 1284

Built at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yards, 1906
Built for Captain George Prince and arrived at Natchez, Mississippi which became her home port and was also her owner's residence on Christmas Day, 1906
Original price was $11,700. She ran Natchez-Atchafalaya and Black rivers. She was rebuilt at Paducah in 1912. On June 7, 1913, doing flood relief work near Clayton, Louisiana, she sank, drowning head clerk A. D. Primm and twelve workers. She was raised that July and ran up the Red River 1913-1914

In 1914 her name was changed from CONCORDIA to UNCLE OLIVER to honor Oliver Wilds, father of Captain Ollie K. Wilds. The UNCLE OLIVER was lost in a fire at Vicksburg, Mississippi circa 1926.

This painting of the CONCORDIA by an unknown illustrator was entitled "STOCKER'S LANDING on the Blackwater Levee, Circa 1905." It was commissioned and distributed for promotional purposes by Killark Electric Mfg. Co. St. Louis, Missouri in 1977. Killark Electric is a leading manufacturer of electrical construction products for standard, harsh and hazardous environments. Including conduit raceway fittings, junction boxes, enclosures, lighting fixtures, plugs & receptacles, distribution equipment and standard and custom controls.

book covers including steamboat illustrations

Richard Bissell's book THE MONONGAHELA (1952 Rinehart) had a "rebirth" 3 years later with a new name RIVER IN MY BLOOD (1955 Signet) and a men's "pulp novel" cover. Attached scans of both editions.
Below is the original review of the hardcover edition from Time Magazine.

Books: Workhorse River
Monday, Jun. 16, 1952

THE MONONGAHELA (239 pp.) - Richard Bissell-Rinehart ($3.50).

The series of books known as Rivers of America has given rise to some rather crude jokes in the publishing trade. When the number got to 45, wags began planning volumes on creeks, rills and even smaller flows. But, at least until No. 47 turns up, the kidding will have to stop. For No. 46 is one of the best in the series. It is also one of the few instances in which the right author met the right river.

Author Bissell, 38, helps run his father's clothing factory in Dubuque, Iowa these days, but once he did an outdoor man's work: he was a river pilot. He wrote a novel about it two years ago (A Stretch on the River - TIME, July 24, 1950), and the river descriptions and river lingo rang fair and true. He writes just as effectively in The Monongahela and even gives a fair amount of his secret away: "In order to have a river in your blood, unforgettably and forever . . . you have to work on her for wages." In 1944 he piloted a diesel towboat on the Monongahela for seven months.

Nuggets & Chasers. Bissell did some library work this time and, like his fellow grubbers in the River series, passes along his share of historical nuggets, e.g., in the 1790s, there were some 1,300 stills in western Pennsylvania; no less an authority than George Washington pronounced Monongahela rye "excellent,'' etc. But what gives the book its special tang is Pilot Bissell's own experiences on the old Mon. When he reported for duty on the Coal Queen, he saw a dirty one-stacker, "a piece of marine junk." That was winter time, and he had to be persuaded not to take the first train back to the Midwest. Came spring and Pilot Bissell thought: "For me to be drawing wages for piloting a towboat under these conditions. why, that's just like paying a kid to watch the circus."

Piloting the Coal Queen, from Morgantown, W. Va. downstream (north) to Pittsburgh, took a little doing, what with pushing barges through the locks and threading through more traffic tonnage than passes through the Panama or Suez Canals. There wasn't much that didn't catch Pilot Bissell's eye, from the architecture (mostly horrendous) of the houses ashore to a little girl in a spring hat on a slate pile. He remembers the valley's favorite drink (cheap rye and a beer chaser), the variety of foreign tongues heard in saloons. "Oh, it's some wonderful valley, the Monongahela. There's more hell popping and more loud noise in any ten miles at the lower end than there is in five hundred on the Mississippi or the Congo."

Good riverman that he is, Author Bissell writes with affection of the old steamboat days, when a big one like the Sprague could push as many as 60 barges loaded down with 54,000 tons of coal. He becomes nostalgic recalling that stern-wheelers in the '70s made regular trips on the highways of water between Pittsburgh and Fort Benton, Mont. But he knows that diesels are here to stay, and doesn't let his nostalgia get teary-eyed. Nor does he equate the ' Monongahela and the Coal Queen with romance. But when a stranger looked at the Queen and asked, "Ain't it a miracle what some fools will do to earn a living? Can you imagine living on a thing like that?", Bissell answered, "I can imagine it."


Calendar art circa 1960's Walter Richards, Illustrator

13 x 16 1/2 inches

Text in lower margin:



Strolling band, entertainers, pretty girls—something for everyone when the showboat, belching smoke and promising gaiety, eased into the Mississippi River shore and lowered the gangplank. This would be a day to be enjoyed and long remembered.

1914 Chalmers "Six" Coupe.

As electric lighting and starting, and left hand controls came into general use, automobiles were easier and safer to drive at night and in bad weather. Closed cars like this powerful Chalmers Coupe became increasingly popular.


This is the cover of a 1947 spiral bound album compiled by Fred Way Jr. There were 5 albums in the Ships and Sailing series published by Kalmbach. The other 4 albums were devoted to sailing ships and passenger ships on the Great Lakes, ships of the U.S. Navy and New England Fishing Schooners

Fred's description of the photo on the cover:

The TOM GREENE operates as a combination general freight and automobile carrier between Cincinnati and Louisville. Daily service between these points has been maintained since 1831. This photograph was taken in 1923 when the packet was new and while she had her passenger cabin. In 1939 the staterooms were removed. This was next to the last packet built for operation on the Mississippi River system. She was named, appropriately, for Capt. Tom R. Greene, whose vision makes it possible today to take lengthy voyages along the inland waterways.

Photo by Capt. William S. Pollock.


Compiled by Captain Frederick Way Jr.

10.25 x 14 inches
19 pages
36 photographs with comprehensive descriptions by Fred Way

Kalmbach Publishing Co.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1947


For generations no Mississippi River steamboat was complete without a towering wooden superstructure surmounted with an elegant pilothouse, two stinking-hot smokestacks as alike as Gemini, a cursing Irish mate, a tuneful chime whistle, and a flashing paddle wheel at the stern wearing a beard of white foam. Vessels of this description were turned out by the thousands, ranging in size from the "short traders," with carrying capacities of but a ton or so, up to the mammoth cotton packets and coal-pusher towboats which accomplished Herculean feats unsurpassed in the history of transportation.

The stern-wheeler arrived as the ugly duckling of the rivers at the very beginnings of steam navigation on the Mississippi. The captains of the more swan-like side-wheelers scornfully dubbed them "wheelbarrow" boats. For 50 years they were in the minority. Those were the pre-railroad times when river boats were chiefly designed for speed and were hauling the passengers, the express, and the mail. Side-wheelers were the hot rods which chalked up all speed records accomplished on the Mississippi and its tributaries. Likewise, they exploded many boilers and roasted numerous humans in spectacular disasters. The stern-wheeler played second fiddle through those exciting times and did not arrive at importance until the character of inland river commerce took a shift.

Suddenly the scene changed. Inland United States was growing up, and Pittsburgh coal was in demand in New Orleans. Lumber from Minnesota and Wisconsin, grain from Illinois and Iowa, were needed southward. Railroads had sopped up the cream of passenger travel, the express, and the mail. The character of traffic on the rivers commenced to depend on economical transfer of heavy tonnage. Fortunately for rivermen, most of this traffic was headed down-river and could be floated to market assisted by the river's currents. In such manner the pioneer oil came down the Allegheny River from the wells of Pennsylvania, the coal from the mines of Pennsylvania, the timber from the forests of the St. Croix. The stern-wheeler was the ideal pushboat to handle such traffic, and its society was courted.

The stern-wheeler was the more economical type of vessel for Mississippi traffic from the start. Its lag may be attributed to early unwieldiness and its inability to maneuver with dexterity in the face of adverse winds and weather conditions. The arrival of steel boiler plate, and the consequent increase in steam pressures, gave the rear paddle wheel the "umph" it needed, and from then on it multiplied and eventually came near running the side-wheeler off the river. Stern-wheel river boats carried down the biggest rafts of timber, the greatest cargoes of coal, and the banner trips of cotton.

Again the scene changed. Nowadays the demands of river traffic accentuate vast movements of tonnage upstream against the currents. Texas sulphur is needed in Chicago, Louisiana oil is wanted in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, and, quixotical as it may seem, Kentucky coal is needed in the steel mills of Pittsburgh. The stern-wheeler was not designed for such service and fell far behind when such demands were made on it. In the past score years the diesel propeller-type workboat has been developed on the Mississippi and today outnumbers the stern-wheelers two to one. Significantly, no stern-wheeler has been built for river service in the past four years and, in the face of diesel competition, the older wooden ones are being sold at a dime a dozen.

This album is published at a fortunate moment. It captures the complete story of the stern-wheel river steamboat, a type of American vessel developed entirely within the United States with no borrowed ideas from abroad. These pages pay respect to Yankee ingenuity which overcame obstacles of a vast scale. The stern-wheel river boat never has been surpassed for shallow water downstream movement of tonnage, and its success is best attested by pointing out that designers and builders from Pittsburgh were called upon to duplicate such boats for the navigation of the Nile, Congo, Amazon, Yukon, Magdalena, Danube, and other waterways of the world. The stern-wheeler never failed its job. Like any highly specialized mechanical instrument, it served a special need, and now that the need has altered, its service is no longer required.


This album is compiled by Capt. Frederick Way Jr. of Sewickley, Pa., who needs no introduction anywhere along the Mississippi River system where the water is deep enough to float a john-boat. He has captained and piloted practically every type of vessel which ever poked its nose into a mud bank or ran over a fresh-water catfish. For six years he managed a fleet of packets between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati on the Ohio River. Today he works occasionally as a "trip pilot" but has taken time off to write of many of his experiences, and his books on river life are acclaimed and read by the rivermen themselves—an honor of no mean order. One of his books, "The Log of the BETSY ANN," was a Literary Guild selection, and another, "Pilotin' Comes Natural," was reprinted in an overseas edition. The Captain was nearly swamped with overseas mail from boys homesick for their rivers.

Captain-Author Way is also a photographer, and for the past 25 years he has collected pictures of Mississippi steamboats and made copy negatives of his finds. At present he owns somewhere around 4000 negatives. The pictures in this album have been selected from this wealth of material.

Captain Way publishes an annual "Inland River Record" which lists the current vessels in operation, their dimensions, owners, power, type, and—to the glee of many rivermen—frequent personal comments. Between times he sails an 18-foot skiff, powered by an outboard motor, and in 1946 he toured the Ohio, Tennessee, Warrior, Tombigbee, Mobile and Licking rivers, upset in the Gulf of Mexico, and arrived at New Orleans upside down. The little boat is the "LADY GRACE," named for his wife, who, says the Skipper, weathers a storm as well as a professional.


Cylindrical cookie tin with the J.M. WHITE on the lid and profiles of sidewheelers and sternwheelers on the sides.

Dimensions 6 1/2 inches in diameter by 2.80 inches high. Guesstimated as 1950's or '60's? Serial number printed on the side: A8031031.

The style of the painted commercial art illustration on the lid suggests that it may have also been reproduced on in rectangular, uncropped format on playing cards and jigsaw puzzles etc. The precision of the 3 drawings of 2 sidewheelers and 1 sternwheeler in port side profiles is actually more pleasing aesthetically than the relatively gaudy and conventional style of the painting inside the circular vignette on the lid.


Recently acquired print from a painting by John Stobart

The architecture of the commercial buildings on the waterfront are typical of river cities and rivertowns like Hannibal, Missouri as it appeared when Sam Clemens was a boy there before the Civil War.

LOUISVILLE by John Stobart

The People's Line Packet "Wild Wagoner" arriving at the Levee in 1868

18 x 29 inches Issued: 1993

Louisville, Kentucky on the Ohio River in 1868 at 2nd Street and the mouth of Beargrass Creek.

The arriving Cincinnati and Louisville packet WILD WAGONER edges towards the Peoples Line wharf boat in mid-morning as people along Water Street go about their daily business.



North River Steamboat
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The North River Steamboat or North River (often erroneously referred to as Clermont) is widely regarded as the world's first vessel to demonstrate the viability of using steam propulsion for commercial water transportation. Built in 1807, the North River Steamboat operated on the Hudson River (at that time often known as the North River) between New York and Albany. She was built by the wealthy investor and politician Robert Livingston and inventor and entrepreneur Robert Fulton (1765-1815).

1909 Clermont replica

A full-sized, 150 foot long by 16 foot wide steam-powered replica, named Clermont, was built by the Staten Island Shipbuilding Company. The replica's design and final appearance was decided by an appointed commission who carefully researched Fulton's steamer from what evidence and word-of-mouth had survived to the early 20th century.

Their replica was launched with great fanfare in 1909 at Staten Island, New York, for the Hudson-Fulton Celebration.

In 1910, following the large celebration, Clermont was sold by her owners, the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission, to defray their losses; she was purchased by the Hudson River Day Line and served the company as a moored river transportation museum at their two locations in New York harbor.

In 1911 Clermont was moved to Poughkeepsie, New York and served Day Line as a New York state historic ship attraction. The company eventually lost interest in the steamboat as a money-making attraction and placed her in a tidal lagoon on the inner side of their landing at Kingston Point, New York. For many years Day Line kept Clermont in presentable condition, but as their business and profits slowed during the Great Depression, they voted to stop maintaining her; Clermont was eventually broken up for scrap in 1936, 27 years after her launching.


THIS CARTOON OF TEDDY ROOSEVELT in a steamboat pilot house with his "mascot teddy bear" on the bow behind the jack staff by Clifford Berryman was published while Teddy was descending the river on the U.S. Inspection boat MISSISSIPPI.

You can also place the "panorama" taken at St. Louis that I sent on July 6th on PHOTOS 2 as well: Here is the subject title of that e-mail: "Steamboats at St. Louis in honor of Teddy Roosevelt Print by STAR PHOTO St. LOUIS, MO Copyright 1907"

The cartoonist Berryman represented the "Trusts" that Teddy abhorred as "snags" in the river that Roosevelt opposed. Below excerpt from Humanities Texas that gives further details into the cartoon.


Political cartoon by Clifford Berryman
Life on the Mississippi, October 2, 1907
Published in The Evening Star, Washington D.C.

U.S. Senate Collection
Center for Legislative Archives
National Archives

One of the primary political controversies during Theodore Roosevelt's administration was the prevalence of "trusts," which are groups made up of large corporations collaborating to unfairly prevent competition.

Roosevelt's administration sued forty-five companies under the Sherman Antitrust Act in an attempt to break up their monopolies, leading to Roosevelt being hailed as a "trust buster."

In this Clifford Berryman cartoon, Roosevelt is portrayed trying to guide his way through a Mississippi River filled with logs bearing the names of various trusts obstructing his way. The cartoon illustrates the difficulty Roosevelt faced navigating his presidency through a political landscape filled with trusts.

steamboat illustration
Latest acquisition. Original Ralph Law painting of the QUINCY which often frequented Hannibal, Missouri. A much photographed boat, I must have more photos and postcards of the QUINCY than any other. Width of painting seen here about 18 3/4 inches.

Some history gathered from Riverboat Dave's site:

The QUINCY was launched 1896 at the Howard Yard for the Diamond Jo Line Dimensions 264.7' X 42' X 6.8' Ran St. Louis to St. Paul, Upper Mississippi and Ohio Rivers 1906, July, sank and raised at Trempealeau Mountain, Wisconsin. 1917 ran St. Louis - New Orleans

1918-19, remodeled extensively and renamed the "J.S." DELUXE after Capt. John Streckfus. Some of her original equipment came from the GEM CITY.

painting detail

Here's a detail of the Law painting which may be worth including. Hairs from his brushes stuck to the illustration board here and there. I saw Law's painting of the SPRAGUE in Nauvoo many years ago but it was 10 time what I paid for the QUINCY. Perhaps I should have made the shop keepers an offer but didn't.


U.S. Historical Society
Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer on the Mississippi River
By Jack Woodson Fine Art Print Original - Mark Twain
by U.S. Historical Society
You Save:$20.00 (40%)
in Stock.
Ships from and sold by FAB FINDS 4 YOU.

Let The Band Play Dixie DustJacket HALF

Author Roark Bradford was born in Tennessee in 1896 but made his permanent home in New Orleans where he died in 1948.

He is best known for his stories of African Americans in the Deep South. In his stories the negro characters speak in a heavy dialect.

Bradford's book "Old Man Adam and his Chillun" formed the basis for the popular stage play THE GREEN PASTURES adapted by Marc Connelly in 1930

Bradford derived the title of the book from the following incident that occurred on April 14th, 1896 in Washington D.C. after the news of Lee's surrender to Grant reached Washington D.C.

The following first person account is edited from an article published in the New York Times on August 11, 1907

"When we arrived outside the White House some regiments were marching past with bands playing and colors flying.
President Abraham Lincoln leaned far out of the window as he said:
'Now let the band play DIXIE, it belongs neither to the South or the North but to us all.'
The band played DIXIE. For the first time in four years that air was heard in the Nation's capital."


Steamboats are key elements related in five of the stories in the the collection LET THE BAND PLAY DIXIE published in 1934:

Chapter 3 The Indian Summer of Bugaboo Jones
Chapter 5 The Razor Man
Chapter 7 Come Day, Go Day
Chapter 9 The Final Run of Hopper Joe Wiley
Chapter 10 Three for a Nickel.

Bradford used Captain LaVerrier Cooley as a character in my favorite of these steamboat tales entitled "Three for a Nickel."

Cooley was born in Savanna, Illinois Nov. 16, 1855 and died on Dec. 19, 1931.
The roof bell from Captain Cooley's favorite cotton packet, the AMERICA is part of the monument over his grave at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans.

So far I have not been able to find a direct connection between Cooley and the packet JOHN D. GRACE (built 1917, dismantled 1930) but apparently both Captain Cooley and the GRACE were favorites of Bradford's and perhaps he chose to honor both of their memories by featuring them prominently in the story "Three for a Nickel."

Below is from the opening passage of the story.


Let the Band Play Dixie and Other Stories
by Roark Bradford
Harpers 1934

Chapter 10 "Three for a Nickel"

Captain Cooley, owner and master of the Mississippi River packet John D. Grace, was a scholar and a gentleman. His tastes were cultivated -- he would never become a faddist. However, being absolute master in fact as well as in name of the finest steamboat on the Southern rivers, and, incidentally, a good liver, he not only got just about what he wanted but always got the best of what he wanted.

Once, years ago, his physician in New Orleans had recommended that he drink a glass of sweet milk with each meal -- a simple enough prescription for a city dweller but one which might be difficult to fill three times a day in the isolated stretches of river traversed by his steamboat. "Any particular kind of milk?" the captain wanted to know.

"Not especially," the doctor told him. "They say a Jersey cow's milk is richest in butter fat, but after it goes through the distributing dairies it all comes out about the same."

Captain Cooley thereupon consulted a deep-sea skipper friend who sailed between New Orleans and European ports, and two months later a cow, straight from the Island of Jersey, was installed on the after main deck of the John D. Grace. A roustabout was assigned to the full-time job of caring for the cow: feeding her when the boat was running and grazing her on the levee at landings; and, most important of all, seeing to it that the captain had a glass of fresh sweet milk with each meal.

rocky & bullwinkle

Attached is a scan of a printed ink and color drawing of a fanciful steamboat for Rocky and his Friends aka The Bullwinkle show produced by Commodore Jay Ward and piloted by Director Brigadier Bill Scott (I'm pretty sure who that's supposed to be) with Bullwinkle Moose, Rocky the Flying Squirrel up top also. On deck Inspector Fenwick drinking on Texas deck. Below him is his daughter admiring Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties while Snidely Whiplash prepares to blow up the boat. I have this one matted and framed, around 11x14 size. Boat resembles a Rose Parade float, this could 'a been concept art work for such a thing. Who knows? Perhaps the print was enclosed with Christmas cards from Jay Ward's Studio back in the 60's. - Dave


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