Steamboat Illustrations, Page 15

Whitewashing NC WYETH dust jacket TOM SAWYER IMPROVED for NORI exp

Attached scan of the wrap-around dusk jacket for Mark Twain's ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER, Illustrated by Peter Hurd & published by The John C. Winston Co., Philadelphia in 1931

Peter Hurd's father in law was the famous illustrator N.C. Wyeth and it was Wyeth who painted composition which represents Tom Sawyer on the far right sitting on a barrel munching an apple that Ben Rogers gave him for the "privilege" of whitewashing the fence while two adult characters: Schoolmaster Dobbins & Injun Joe stand on the far left and in the middle stand Huck Finn and Joe Harper; all four characters are watching with some disbelief at Tom's audacity and ingenuity in hoodwinking his friends.


Betsy McCall paper dolls were a feature in McCall's Magazine . . . this one from May 1960 used the premise that Betsy takes a voyage down the Mississippi on the DELTA QUEEN and calls her cousin Linda when the DQ lands in New Orleans to tell her about the trip. The reference to a "real Pirate's Cave" has to refer to Cave-in-Rock on the Ohio River in Hardin County, Illinois.

In addition to the composite that I made is a small scan of the whole page which you don't necessarily need to include. This page includes a color graphic of Betsy in her "skivvies" and three "outfits" with tabs that could be cut out by little girls. I put Betsy in the clam-digger outfit since she's holding a toy DELTA QUEEN in her right hand in that one. McCalls offered this set of paper dolls "printed on sturdy cardboard" plus 19 others for only 20 cents mailed to McCall's Dept D in New York or Toronto.

Transcript of text on the Betsy McCall's paper doll feature on page 57, May 1960:

"Betsy McCall takes a trip down the Mississippi

When the river boat Delta Queen landed in New Orleans, Betsy phoned her cousin Linda: "Hi, Linda! This trip is the most fun! We sleep in bunks, and our bedroom is called a stateroom. We were in a real Pirates' Cave, and we visited a plantation and some mansions.

The Mississippi is just the LONGEST river—about 3,901) miles, the captain says, and we haven't seen even half of it. `Mississippi' is Indian for 'Big River.'

Our boat is called a stern-wheeler because it has a big wheel at the stern—that's what they call the back, and port is the left side, looking forward, and starboard's the right—and the stern wheel churns up the water like a giant egg beater.

The captain let me visit him in the pilothouse. He pointed out boats from all over—an oil boat from Europe, and barges with new autos from Detroit, and a motorboat from Florida, and houseboats with people living on them.

They fish right from their own decks. You know what? I talked to one family on the captain's ship-to-shore telephone. They invited me to a catfish dinner. No, I don't know whether a catfish meows, but I don't think so. Mommy and I are going sight-seeing in New Orleans, so I have to stop.

Linda, listen: When it gets foggy on the river, the boats tie up until it clears, and they talk to each other in whistles.

The Delta Queen has a steam whistle, and the first time I heard it, I jumped, because it's so LOUD. Want me to say good-bye to you in whistle talk like the Delta Queen? Listen:



The Civil War scene drawn by artist Frank Schell (top) of a half dozen steamboats carrying General Negley's Pennsylvania Brigade among others down the Ohio River in October 1861. It's reminiscent of the line up of the 5 racers for STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND. It is possible that the engraved image published in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper for November/December1861 (center) inspired the way the Sacramento River steamers were positioned "cheek by jowl" at the start of the climactic race in the movie (bottom).

The Sacramento boats are in some ways more interesting because they are quite different in appearance from each other in size and configuration while the Ohio River "fleet" boats all look pretty much the same.

(Detail from):

"Passage down the Ohio River of General James S. Negley's Pennsylvania Brigade, the Seventy-Seventh, Seventy-Eighth and Seventy-Ninth Regiments. Pennsylvania volunteers under Colonels Hambgright, Stambauch and Sewall"

Disneyland Mark Twain A painting by Eric Heschong

Came across this beautiful illustration of Disneyland's MARK TWAIN in obituary notices for the artist Eric Herschong from last year. The artist included smoke coming from the stacks which was never actually seen at the theme parks although escaping white steam would be visible.

Thursday, June 6, 2013
Artist Eric Heschong Passed Away At 62
by Alain Littaye


"Highly talented artist Eric Heschong, who did gorgeous artworks for Walt Disney Imagineering of Disney theme park attractions passed away at 62 years old last Tuesday of lung cancer.

Among other paintings that Eric did for Walt Disney Imagineering there is this beautiful painting of the Mark Twain Riverboat. Actually, this one was not an order from Imagineering, Eric did this painting for himself!"

Artwork Copyright by Landmark "Eric Heschong & Disney Enterprises"


Additional info on Herschong provided by Rick Wright at this link: micechat.com

"Eric started his amazing career painting scenery for CBS and animation backgrounds at Hanna Barbera Studios."

Frank Leslie's Illust News. 16 August 1879 steamboats Missouri River 40 percent for NORI

1879 Frank Leslie's Newspaper illustrations of 2 steamboats which must have transported troops, weaponry and other supplies (the one on the left is the GEN'L SHERMAN) for a U.S. Army expeditionary force under General Miles that was in pursuit of Chief Sitting Bull during an "Indian Campaign in Montana" on the north side of the Missouri River.

German Life on the Mississippi Klaus Ensikat steamboats dot com 80 percent for NORI

One of Klaus Ensikat's illustrations for Mark Twain's LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI. (With name of this website added!)

Harper's Weekly Cover SNAGBOAT 2 Nov 1889 33 percent for NORI

"One of Uncle Sam's Tooth Pullers"

The snag boats operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were sometimes called "Uncle Sam's Tooth Pullers," referring to how the vessels extracted whole trees and logs that hindered navigation. U.S. Snag Boat No. 2 is shown pulling stumps from the river bottom.

From Harper's Weekly, Nov. 2, 1889 amhistory.si.edu

Aunt Jemina steamboat & plantation house 60 percent for NORI

Detail of the "banner" illustration in watercolor that ran along the top of a full page Aunt Jemima Pancake mix ad in a mid 1950's to mid 1960's issue of LIFE, LOOK or the SATURDAY EVENING POST.

The caption says that on the right is "Colonel Higbee's plantation" where the fictional African American cook Aunt Jemima was a slave before the Civil War and remained as a faithful servant to Colonel Higbee after the war was over and she was "set free." The illustrator probably based the plantation house itself on Scarlett O'Hara's "Tara" in David O. Selznick's epic 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's GONE WITH THE WIND. The steamboat "PRINCESS" closely resembles the KATE ADAMS as she looked when remodeled to portray the antebellum steamboat "LA BELLE RIVIERE" in the 1926 silent film of UNCLE TOM's CABIN.

Cadillac 1937 detail Ad with steamboat 90 percent EXP

Might be one of the "Anchor Line" boats out yonder on the river with the anchor device twixt the stacks. Detail for a 1937 print ad for the Cadillac series "60" with 135 horsepower and all the V-8 "smoothness, acceleration and dependability" for only $1,445 (prices subject to change without notice). Lan' o' Goshen even pennies, nickels, dimes & quarters had real purchase power in them days.

Robt E Lee engraving Every Saturday 1871 for NORI

From the magazine EVERY SATURDAY
SEPT 2, 1871
PAGE 236


There is scarcely ever a time when the local heart of at least fifteen hundred miles of river country is not wrapped up in from one to three fast steamboats. The coming or going of one of these is the event of the day or week to many a dweller on our southern and western alluvium. As Mississippi craft are necessarily short-lived this affection is handed down from one fleet beauty to another with great constancy. The rendering of the old Latin line must read to the inland scholar, they change their boats, not their minds, who go up and down the river.

The Robert E. Lee, the Natchez, and the Katie (1871-1880) seem now to be the reigning favorites . . .

Folk Art Steamer SPRAGUE on banner ELEANORA on paddlebox for NORI

This folk art style painting was made with a lot of precision. It looks a bit fanciful as if it was dreamed up by the artist rather than an actual boat. The pennant on the flagstaff says SPRAGUE but on the paddlebox is the name ELEANORA.

The flag at the stern looks features a spread eagle in the style of a Union army battle flag during the Civil War.

steamboat label

Steamboat label from the days of Sacramento produce crates.

steamboat illustration

Handles on that pilot wheel are awful chubby, hard to get a little "mitt" around one. Traveler's insurance ad from inside pilot house with snag boat in distance on the river.


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most of the images on this page are from a private collection.
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