Steamboat Illustrations, Page 17


Swedish illustrator Eric Palmquist (1908-1999) was a gifted artist whose sketch-style pen and ink drawings are comparable to artwork created by the most talented production designers and story board artists that I knew at the Walt Disney Studio.

Palmquist illustrated both of Sam Clemens' classic boyhood on the Mississippi novels: TOM SAWYER in 1956 and HUCKLEBERRY FINN in 1957 for Tidens Bokklubb of Stockholm, Sweden.

Palmquist's human and animal characters were outstanding, drawn with great spontaneity, personality and humor. Attached two of Palmquist's steamboat drawings for HUCKLEBERRY FINN. The one on the left of Huck and Jim on their raft approaching the wreck of the steamboat WALTER SCOTT on page 77, the sternwheeler is from page 131. Palmquist's illustrations are reminiscent in some respects to the pen and ink drawings by E.W. Kemble for the first edition of HUCK FINN that was published in 1884.


The Great Welcome Week Steamboat Race, 1949.


Attached scan of the pen and ink drawing of a steamboat from the center of the front cover of the 1949 German translation of Mark Twain's LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI ("LEBEN AUF DEM MISSISSIPPI") by illustrator Heiner Rothfuchs who created the 1860 pictorial map of the Mississippi River for the front fly leaves that I sent previously.


Pictorial map for the front fly leaves of a German translation of Mark Twain's LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI ("LEBEN AUF DEM MISSISSIPPI") represents the Mississippi River in 1860 by illustrator Heiner Rothfuchs (1913-2000) for a 1949 German edition published by Kesselringsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Wiesbaden.

The stylized pen and ink style Rothfuchs employed is very nostalgic evoking the U.S. during its frontier period with costumed characters, a steamboat along with cities and towns. The way the map was attached within the front cover caused a slight gap that is visible down the center but the graphic still reads satisfactorily.



Huck Finn and Jim on their raft from one of Thomas Hart Benton's murals in the Missouri State capital at Jefferson City.

This is another picture I took from one of the other murals in the same room depicting a steamboat landing.

The couple on the right is rather spooky . . . the gentleman looks like he might be wearing a mask and if the couple is not beginning to embrace they may be contemplating strangling each other.

The lady's bonnet disguises her even more effectively than the nylon hose mask her beloved or her beloathed is wearing. It's also an open question as to whether the gent is arriving or leaving.

Indiana University Lilly Library Bloomington Rafting Downstream 1850 65percent for NORI

One of my all time favorite river/steamboat paintings. Since it was painted back in "antebellum times" it was by an eyewitness, not a scene imagined by a modern painter who never saw that raft and that steamboat.

The river has that thick coffee with cream look which is characteristic in certain seasons or when the sky is not reflecting blue on the surface on the Mississippi and Missouri.

The gentleman in the lower right hand corner seems to be literally "raising cane" and perhaps yelling at the raftsmen down below who don't appear to be paying any attention to him.

Lewis Verduyn who is a rafter on the Clutha River in New Zealand says that the raft is authentic.

I can't tell if those are crates or milled shingles for roofing stacked in the center of the raft.

This is a very special and rare work of art, wish we knew the painter's identity.

The style suggests they were from Europe or were schooled over there, there's a classical style to it.

RAFTING DOWNSTREAM painted by an unknown artist
circa 1850
Oil on canvas 22 1/8 x 27 3/8 inches
Lilly Library
Indiana University, Bloomington

steamboat illustration

Michael Blaser's painting of Missouri River town Boonville, MO as it looked in 1875. The Joseph Kinney was named for local steamboat man Captain Joseph Kinney who operated steamboats in out of Boonville on the Missouri River for over a quarter of a century and built a mansion called Rivercene across the river from Boonville.

This captures the feeling of so many Missouri river towns with the hills and foliage; the homes, church, commercial buildings and the warehouses along the waterfront. I'd love to see Michael Blaser paint Hannibal, MO during the 1840's or '50's before Sam Clemens lit out to fulfill his destiny.


MARK TWAIN Mural Governor's Office Detail over Blue HALF size

Detail of the Mark Twain mural in the Missouri Governor's office.


A fairly common Uncle Ben's Rice container circa 1983 commemorating the 40th anniversary of the company.

The steamboat is obviously based on the JULIA BELLE SWAIN but the name at the stern was painted to be incomprehensible.

Internationall Marine engineering 1912 nov page 436 dredge WATERWAY

For the do-it-your-self'er attached one of the sure 'nuff Gee-Whiz cross-section drawings from which the Red River Hydraulic dredge WATERWAY was built.

This illustration appears on page 436 of the journal International Marine Engineering for November, 1912. On page 477 there is also a profile drawing and a deck plan.

The text of the article which begins on page 435 "The United States Red River Hydraulic Dredge Waterway," begins thusly:

"Early in the summer of this year the Dubuque Boat & Boiler Works, Dubuque, Iowa delivered to the United States Engineers at Vicksburg, Mississippi, the steel self-propelled hydraulic dredge WATERWAY.

The dredge is a steel hull boat fitted with the ordinary type of sternwheel towboat machinery, and a sand hydraulic pumping plant for river dredging."

For those interested in reading the article in its entirety it is available on line from Google books.

BuckeyeStateFore&AftDoublePageComposite 25 percent reduction

A scan of one of a set of four engravings from an 1851 publication that I was fortunate to locate through a dealer in Glasgow, Scotland.

The distance between the far left portion of the bow view and the far right portion of the stern view is 16 3/4 inches.

"Bow & Stern Views of Steam Packet, BUCKEYE STATE

S. Wickersham, delt. (del., delt., or delin. signified "drawn by". The name of the artist who who did the original drawing that the engraving reproduced). G. Gladwin, sculp. (sculp, or sculpt. signified "engraved by"). London : John Weale, 1851 (published by)"


Expanded history of the boat in the painting which was actually referred to as the EXPRESS No. 2 although "No. 2" does not appear after her name in photographs of the boat in the Murphy Collection.

I formatted this scan of a print of Thomas Anshutz's painting of the EXPRESS, 1880 inside an oval vignette.

Am not positive at the moment which collection owns the original artwork, it could be in the Ohio River Museum at Marietta, Ohio.

Anshutz was born in Newport, Kentucky in 1851. He grew up in Newport and Wheeling, West Virginia and was co-founder of The Darby School of Painting and leader of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Two relatives of the artist worked on the boat during the 1870's, Captain Phil Anshutz and Clerk, E.J. Anshutz (see below).

Thomas apparently painted this boat "in memoriam" for the EXPRESS No. 2 in 1880 since she had been retired and dismantled the year before (1879).

Express No. 2
Built 1870 at Wheeling, West Virginia
Officers & Crew members:
Captain Phil Anshutz (master, 1870-75)
E.J. Anshutz (clerk, 1870-76)
Captain A.B. Booth (master, 1876)
H.C. Caldwell (clerk, 1877)
Martin F. Noll (clerk, 1878)
Brady Morgan (pilot)

Worked on the Ohio River and Muskingum River

Fred Way Packet Directory
Number 1947
"In the Wheeling-Parkersburg trade; teamed up with the sidewheel Courier.
After she was dismantled, her hull served as the wharfboat at Wheeling until the Crockard and Booth wharfboat was built at Moundsville in 1892.
Her machinery and whistle went to the St. Lawrence."


Print of painting "Music for Dreaming" by Tommy Thompson, New Orleans 1985. tomsart4u.com


With the exception of images credited to certain institutions,
most of the images on this page are from a private collection.
Please request permission before reproducing our images in any publication.*