Steamboat Illustrations, Page 2


Paddle Wheels and Pistols by Irwin Anthony

Illustrated by Manning DeV Lee and Lyle Justis

Published by Macrae-Smith, Philadelphia: 1929

329 pages and 7 x 9-1/4 front and back covers; 1-1/2 inch spine

Basically a historical novel, profusely illustrated, probably intended for a "young adult" audience but would appeal to adults. The history of the Mississippi River from the earliest days of the Native Americans on through the arrival of French and Spanish explorers, Jackson and the Battle of New Orleans, on through the Civil War and later attempts by engineers to tame the mighty stream. Plenty of detailed descriptions of the different styles of craft afloat on the water from flatboats, keelboats and the steamboats. Personalities from all walks of life and eras on the river are the characters. Steamboat races and riverboat gamblers are depicted in the 2 color plates to the left and right of the title page above. An enjoyable book for readers looking for an introduction to the saga and pageantry of the river's history Mississippi and will lead them to Sam Clemens' LIFE on the MISSISSIPPI which is still the classic "eyewitness" treatise on the subject.


1888 PROMOTIONAL POSTER from the Library of Congress collection; "Eight Cotton Bale remedies. Crowned with merit and success"

Advertisement for Cotton Bale Medicine Co. (Helena, Arkansas) patent medicines, including blood elixir, tonics, cough syrup, liver pills, liniment, healing balm, and "worm and liver shot." Image shows African Americans at work in cotton fields, with steamboats on the river in the distance.


Irvin S. Cobb cigar box label. Cobb was one of the stars in Steamboat Round the Bend.


Jack & Jolene Hiland's Sky Ride INN - CATFISH CARP

Neon sign with patina that I photographed in the 1990's: "Jack & Jolene Hiland's Sky Ride INN - CATFISH CARP Lunches" used to be located on 236 North Front Street at the corner of Vermont facing the Mississippi River in Quincy, Illinois which is about 15 miles as the crow flies north of Sam Clemens' hometown, Hannibal, Missori. I never dined at Jack & Jolene's but it sure had genuine rivertown amibance from the outside.

The restaurant "Chick's on the River" is now at this location.

This could go with the photo of signage at Canton, Missouri. Maybe a "roadside (or 'riverside') attractions" page would be a good fit for signage and other quaint vintage "stuff."


Sacramento River steamboats in a painting by Park Merrill

Exceptional, beautiful painting of a vintage Sacramento River scene by Park Merrill. Hope that a print of this painting with the steamboats New World, Queen City, Lady Adams, Helen Hensley and Senator will eventually become available. A truly memorable work of art.



Paddle Wheel Days

Capturing the excitement and bustle of Sacramento's embarcadero in the 1850s, this nautical portrait - constructed from early photos and actual on-the-spot drawings - features some of the real-life illustrious steamboats of the day.

Here in the forefront, at the foot of H though K Streets, workers attend to the New World, a walking-beam paddlewheel that was stolen from the East Coast and sailed around Cape Horn. When word reached Sacramento that she carried the deadly cholera disease on board, many people evacuated the town.

Other steamers crowd the dock. Just beyond the Queen City is the Lady Adams, followed by the Helen Hensley - all vessels that offered regular transportation between San Francisco and Sacramento. Out on the Sacramento River in the distance, the Senator is seen flowing downstream.

About the Artist, Park Merrill

Park Merrill, a native Californian, was born in Fortuna, Humboldt County, in 1938. From an early age, Merrill showed signs of an artistic nature.

After high school, Merrill attended Humboldt State College for a year and a half, taking many art courses. Wanting a more intensive art education, he attended the four-year professional art school, Art Center College of Design, located in Los Angeles at that time. Art Center is one of the three most prestigious art schools in the country.

After graduating from Art Center in 1963, Merrill worked as an illustrator and graphic artist, ending his career with 27 years at Lockheed Missiles & Space Company in Sunnyvale. During that time he painted conceptual designs for satellite systems and other high-tech space programs such as Star Wars, Space Station Freedom, and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Since his retirement, Merrill has developed his fine art skills and a style he calls "Soft Impressions of California." These images are from California's colorful past and present. Painted in oil, they combine pastel colors with soft edges. "This has been the most exciting work I have done to date," says Merrill and it is his hope that the art-viewing public will agree.


An steampunk art exhibit at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn. from fall of last year to winter of this year . . .


Attached scan of a poster for Hannibal's "Mark Twain" (Jim Waddell) that includes a composite I made of him over a painting of New Orleans in 1850.


CD cover art done in the tradition of MAD magazine cover artist/caricature expert Jack Davis. Nice technical accuracy on the li'l sternwheeler. Down Home Jazz Band records for the Stomp Off label. buy the CD at Amazon.com.


Detail from the Kaywoodie pipe ad which included a colorized still from STEAMBOAT ROUND THE BEND.


The PIASA at LaClede's landing, Eads Bridge in the background.

Upper left vignette of illustration from the Kelly Tire ad based on the photo of the PIASA.

Lower left a frame from 4 FOR TEXAS (1963) in which the Warner Bros. art department painting of the PIASA is seen in an oval vignette on the doors of the safe behind Grady Sutton as the nervous clerk. The fictional Zachariah Thomas was played by Frank Sinatra.



Here are a couple of sample pen and ink drawings by C.J. Taylor

Page 11 . . . exterior pilot house
Page 133 . . . interior pilot house
by Charles D. Stewart
Illustrated by C.J. Taylor
The Century Company, N.Y. 1907

This book was reviewed in the NY Times on March 30, 1907 under the headline FROM MISSOURI . . . The True Adventures and Wise Observations of Sam, a Boy of the Steamboats"

The narrator is a boy named Sam Daly whose ". . .congenial stomping ground is upon Missouri and Mississippi River steamboats and the rafts and landings from Cairo to New Orleans. The period is somewhat subsequent to that already made famous by Mark Twain."

The reviewer subsequently gets a bit carried away in their accolades such as:

"The narrative drifts care-free like the river upon whose bosom it floats, with eddies and resting places on the bank, the rollicking song of the 'coonjiners' (Missouri for coal passers) weaving itself into a tune with ripple of the waters and accompanying as a supporting orchestra the treble of the young troubadour's tale."

It would be interesting to know what Sam Clemens himself thought of this book since he very probably read it.


hand out for passengers published by STECKFUS STEAMERS, INC. at St. Louis in 1926. 4 1/4 X 6 inches.


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.*