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."


2 engravings on page 182 which had been extracted by a dealer from a copy of the following 145 year old book:



The engravings appear to have been created during the 1840's: a flatboat's time consuming transport of goods by 4 months on the Mississippi between St. Louis and New Orleans

is compared to the speedy transport by steamboat by 3 days from New Orleans to St. Louis.

By incorporating the last paragraph that I found elsewhere from page 180 in the book I added it to the text on page 181 and came up with the following which I have abridged:

"The settlers who had crossed the mountains in the early times . . . had located mostly on the great streams, within easy reach of the means of conveying (their) surplus to points of sale.

They were not provided with vessels of a very expensive construction; and flat boats were the chief means of descending the streams.

These vessels, designed only to go down stream, were composed of such material as, after having served the purpose of transporting produce, could be broken up at the place of destination, and sold as lumber . . .

It required four months to travel thus from New Orleans to St. Louisa distance of 1,500 miles, and the cost of the goods, it may well be supposed, was enhanced by the process; while, on the other hand, the produce sent down realized but little.

Thus, between the cheapness of the produce and the dearness of merchandise received in exchange, time settler realized but little for his labor.

It is easy to conceive how great a blessing was steam on those waters, to enable the weary men to stem the ceaseless, downward flow of the mighty currents.

In 1811 that blessing made its appearance at Pittsburg in the shape of a steamboat, built by Fulton, and which had a considerable success.

The general progress was, however, slow, for the reason, among others, that, as in all such cases, there was a large capital invested in river craft, which would depreciate in value in face of the new power, and there was not much capital to embark all at once in steam.

It was also the case that Chancellor Livingston, the partner of Fulton, claimed a monopoly of the lower Mississippi trade, and put a restraint for some years upon steam in that region. So great a power could not, however, but force its way.

With the construction of the ENTERPRISE, in 1815, St. Louis was reached in 25 days from New Orleans, and public enthusiasm was aroused.

There were, however, up to 1817, still but twelve boats upon the western waters, of an aggregate tonnage of 2,335 tons.

The time to Pittsburg was 54 days, of which 36 days was running tune.

These passages caused much excitement, and a bold merchant predicted that the rate of freight between New Orleans and St. Louis would fall to $3.50 per 100 lbs., but lie was regarded as visionary, or what they would now call in Wall-street language a "bear" in freights.

His sanguine nature would probably have been surprised could the veil of time have been so lifted as to permit him to see 35 years ahead—the boats of the present day making money at 40 cents per 100 lbs., and carrying it in three days . . ."


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.


HARPER'S WEEKLY April 5, 1862

Civil War maritime bombardment of Island No. 10

Best of three engravings on page 212 made from sketches by Alexander Simplot illustrating the preparation by the U.S. Navy for the Bombardment of Island Number Ten by the mortar fleet, March 16, 1862.

"Steamers towing mortar-boats into position."

from "Harper's History of the Great Rebellion" Page 294 received here on 18 July, 2016

Caption derived in part from Philadelphia Print Shop: philaprintshop.com

"Capture of Island No. 10" March and April 1862

U.S. General John Pope, after taking New Madrid, was determined to take Island 10, the only Confederate stronghold left on that part of the Mississippi River.

However, Pope's army was on the western side of the river and he needed protection for his troop transports so he could cross to the eastern side in order to be able to attack Island 10.

Commodore Andrew Foote, meanwhile, had his fleet of ironclads and mortar rafts moored on the upstream side of the island, from whence he continued to lob shells at the Confederate stronghold.

Foote was reluctant to try to run his ships by the heavily gunned Confederate position in order to provide his troops with the protection they needed.

Finally, Commander Henry Walke volunteered to run the gauntlet at night in his ship the U.S.S. CARONDOLET, which he did on April 4th; a second iron clad followed two night later and Pope had his protection to ferry his troops to the opposite shore. Almost immediately, the Confederates on Island 10 surrendered, leading to the capture of thousands of soldiers and much ordnance and ammunition. This gave the Union control of the Mississippi as far south as Memphis. This Federal victory also made John Pope a new hero in the North.

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 post cards 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.

Huck Finn illustration for LP cover art

A German children's LP adaptation of Huck Finn with fanciful/whimsical cover art. Huck's horizontal striped shirt and style of hat and pipe give if that European flair. Was impressed that the artist researched steamboats to paint a reasonable stylized depiction of one. The cat and birds are right out of Sesame Street. My scanner enhanced the colors so they're even richer here than they really were. Looks like friskets and airbrush at work in the clouds, foliage, the "sugar hogshead" (barrel), Huck's hat and face. . . . surrealism for the kiddies . . .

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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