Steamboat Illustrations, Page 21


Cornwell's BETSY ANN for Early Times is borrowed by Schmidt's Beer

Another nameless commercial artist harvested Dean Cornwell's painting of the BETSY ANN entitled "Kentucky River Boat" of for a 1952 True Magazine Ad for Early Times Whisky. This time the product was Schmidt Beer and this is from a "proof" print on metal for a beer can 4.75 x 6.60 inches printed in the "Keglined" process for Jacob Schmidt Brewing Co. St. Paul, MINN. The reference to the "Great Northwest" suggests the theme of the beer was the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon although steamboats in the Northwest have a somewhat different "style." This faithful representation of the BETSY puts it more towards the Midwest and South on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

The Schmidt Brewery was originally known as the Christopher Stahlmann, Cave Brewery. A brewery first appeared on the site of 882 W. Seventh Street in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1855, becoming the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company in 1900. (Wikipedia)


Paper label 3 1/2 x 4 1/4 for Cook's Goldblume Beer brewed in the Ohio River city of Evansville, Indiana.

Cook's Goldblume Beer: evansvilleliving.com

F.W. Cook Brewing Co. was located at 11 NW Seventh St., according to Donahue Studios 1940s Photographs. The company was initially established under the name of Cook & Reis, after F.W. Cook and Louis Reis. The History of Vanderburgh County, Indiana: From the Earliest Times to the Present says the pair established and built the City Brewery in 1853. Louis Reis then sold his interest in the brewery to his brother, Jacob Reis, who was Cook's stepfather. Cook became the sole owner of the business in 1873, and in 1885, the City Brewery was converted into a stock company under the name of F.W. Cook Brewing Co. The company, the book says, brewed a famous Pilsner beer that became a "household word and is the most popular beverage in this part of the country."


Beautiful cover illustration by artist Rudolph Belarski for a pulp fiction novelette featured in ARGOSY magazine Feb 17, 1940 Volume 297, Issue 1, pages 6-30

The pirate holding the derringer bears a strong resemblance to Vincent Price and the steamboat pilot reminded me of Ray Milland.

CALAMITY RIVER by Donald Barr Chidsey

Introductory text above the opening paragraph of the short novel on page 6:

"He knew by heart all the ins and out of the treacherous and twisting water - every little sandspit, every shifting shoreline. He knew too the deadly reputation of Filmer the pirate. By putting these two pieces of knowledge together he turned deadly perils into the victory that comes only to the brave. A vigorous tale of the Mississippi."


RUDOLPH BELARSKI (1900-1983) noted for "pulp fiction" and paperback detective images, was said to be "the perfect paperback artist" by art editor Ken Stuart, of The Saturday Evening Post in the mid-1950s.

A master at building suspense through figure, perspective and color, Belarski dazzled the newsstand browser with pictorial headlines of vital action scenes pertaining to the inside story.

In doing so, he sold magazines and books to a drama-craving audience, and propelled publishing's mass markets, thus infiltrating American minds with the trends and fashions of pop culture.

Belarski's career began in the 1920s, with the pioneering days of American aviation. His best-remembered subjects, however, came along with the crime story fascination in the 1930s: voluptuous dames in distress mixing it up with square-jawed detectives and thugs.

His science-fiction subjects of this same time are astonishingly convincing; his constructions of the 25th century adapted microphones, lawnmowers and hubcaps as elements.

In his usual timely fashion, Belarski veers in the 1950s away from the slick world of melodrama towards a more natural, realistic world.

A great lover of camping and fishing, Belarski also painted a number of covers for Outdoor Life.

Understanding medium, palette, subject and time, Belarski captures America's fickle ideals.

As his illustrations soar alongside the growth of our history of popular culture, so does the nostalgic trend that he spawned.

The Thrilling Adventures of Rudolph Belarski
Jun 14, 2015 by Mike Chomko


Rudolph Belarski grew up in the hardscrabble world of coal mines in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. He finished the sixth grade and then entered the work force with his classmates at the Pittston Mines, where he labored for ten years, while he subscribed to a correspondence art school to follow his dream to become a celebrated illustrator.

In 1922 he moved to New York City to study at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where his classmates included Walter Baumhofer, Frederick Blakeslee, and John Fleming Gould. In 1928, he entered the pulp industry through Dell Publications, doing interiors and covers for adventure pulps about World War I, such as WAR ACES, WAR BIRDS, WAR NOVELS, and WAR STORIES. In later years, he worked for Fiction House and the Munsey chain of pulp magazines, painting covers for ACES, AIR STORIES, ALL-AMERICAN FICTION, ARGOSY, DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY, DOUBLE DETECTIVE, RED STAR ADVENTURES, SILVER BUCK WESTERN, WINGS, and other rough-paper titles.


Following the Second World War, Rudolph Belarski became one of Ned Pines' top paperback cover artists at Popular Library as well as a leading illustrator for the men's adventure magazines. He finished his career as a teacher at the world's foremost correspondence art school, the Famous Artists School of Westport, Connecticut. On Saturday, August 15th, at 8:45 PM, please join pulp art historian David Saunders for an exploration of the life and work of pulp artist Rudolph Belarski at PulpFest 2015.

Born in 1954, David Saunders is a New York artist. His work has been collected worldwide in museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Hirschhorn Museum of Art in Washington, DC. He has taught art at such colleges as, Yale, Oberlin, and the Kansas City Art Institute, as well as art schools in France, Korea, Mexico and Japan.

David's father was the legendary illustrator, Norman Saunders. His mother, Ellene Politis Saunders, worked at Fawcett Publications as Chief Executive Editor for WOMAN'S DAY. In 1972, David became his father's business secretary, which started a long project to catalog his father's 7,000 published illustrations. He spent the next seventeen years gathering published examples of his father's work from used bookshops and submitting each new entry to his father's inspection. What began as a sentimental hobby for a father and son grew into an impressive archive of 20th century American illustration. After his father's death in 1989, he completed the archive on his own. He interviewed his father's surviving associates to record their oral histories. These transcripts helped to broaden his viewpoint of the popular culture publishing industry and also documented vital information about the lives of other artists. Some of this material has been published as biographical profiles in ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE and several coffee-table art books on pulp artists.

David is, quite probably, the foremost scholar of American pulp illustrators. His free public website, Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists, has over three-hundred biographical profiles of these creators of popular culture. David continues to research, document, and promote a greater appreciation of pulp artists. To find out more, please visit davidsaunders.biz, normansaunders.com, and theillustratedpress.com.

(Rudolph Belarski's cover to the Summer 1944 issue of AIR WAR is one of many covers that the talented artist painted for Ned Pines' "Thrilling Group" of pulp magazines. To learn more about the artist, be sure to visit David Saunders' Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists where you will find more than 300 biographical profiles of American pulp artists. For a wider sampling of the artist's work, pick up a copy of John Gunnison's BELARSKI: PULP ART MASTER, available through Adventure House.)

ROBERT WILLIAM ADDISON 1924-1988 steamboat Illustration and Serigraph

On the left is Robert Addison's (1924-1988) painting/illustration of a steamboat named PARGOUD. There was a steamboat called the FRANK PARGOUD (1868-1887) which was a sidewheeler as is the boat in the painting so it is likely that is the boat Addison intended it to be.

A later boat named simply "PARGOUD" (1884-1898) was a sternwheeler.

The silk screen of Addison's haunted derelict steamboat WESTERN WORLD (1973) frame in a photo that I sent you with it leaning against a case with Jim Hale's 5 foot model in it inside my River Room downstairs.


Serigraph Robert Addison GREAT REPUBLIC (in grayscale with thumbnail of hand colored edition) 1980

Rowland Emett New World For Nellie Steamboats X 2 for NORI exp

I recently discovered the artwork of British cartoonist Rowland Emett who drew for the UK magazine PUNCH.

Emett specialized in wild and wonderful cartoons inspired by locomotives and passenger cars of the British railways.

In 1952 Rowland transported his cartoon locomotive NELLIE to the U.S.A. in the book NEW WORLD FOR NELLIE.

NELLIE traverses America and while in the Deep South discovers our steamboats.

NELLIE's engineers "immediately fell in love with the paddle boats because they had TWO long funnels each." (Referring to the smokestacks).

Attached is one of the 4 steamboat pen and ink drawings from pages inside the book and a color illustration featured in the fly leaves at each end of the book.

Sat Eve Post Cover TOM GREENE 21 Sept 1946 painted by John Atherton 33 percent for NORI

Illustrator John Atherton's cover painting of the TOM GREENE for the Saturday Evening Post Sept 21st, 1946.

Paul Detlefsen Steamer Gary Wayne 25 percent for NORI

Paul Detlefsen (1899 - 1986) was a gifted artist who created matte paintings for Warner Bros.' 1944 "biopic" THE ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN among other titles and during his 20 years with Warner's became head of the studio art department.

Beginning in the early 1950's Detlefsen embarked on a series of nostalgic Americana paintings (published as framed prints and on calendars, playing cards, you-name-it) that represented landscapes with vintage style structures and themes like "down by the Old Mill Stream," a blacksmith shop, covered bridges, a fall color scene with a boy and his dog trailing behind a herd of cattle on their way to a barn. Children running happily home from their one room school house; horse drawn vehicles like an old time fire engine being pulled full tilt to an emergency; a splendid Victorian depot which looked like it inspired the mansard roofed depot at the entrance of Disneyland. Old time diamond stack locomotives hauling passenger cars were also a favorite subject to the artist.

Attached Detlefen's painting RIVERBOAT DAYS of a generic packet boat that he named GARY WAYNE; a couple of Tom 'n Huck-type boys fishing from a dock in the lower left corner. Illustrator Andrew Loomis seemed to have derived the steamboat in his steamboat painting which we have posted among our other Illustrations.


I bought these plans some years ago and had them mounted on linen. They came in two sections and the outfit that mounted them didn't line them up properly so about half way through the pilot house there's a "jog" where the horizontal lines don't match up. They went in with pen and ink and paint brush to try and disguise this but it made it look ever more obvious.

I had the gigantic thing scanned by Ford Graphics in Burbank and they saved it as a huge tiff file on a CD. I labored over it in Photoshop to line up everything as closely as possible. This is an extreme reduction of the original humongous scan. - Dave

Mississippi River Commission. U.S. Large Tender For Dredges, Designed and drawn under direction of Committee on Dredges M.R.C. and of Capt. H.E. Waterman, Corps of Engineers, U.S.A. Secretary. Longitudinal Section... Plate No. 13 to accompany annual report of Mississippi River Commission for 1898. Plan by Percy H. Middleton, 55 x 17.75". Office of the Secretary, M.R.C. Washington, DC. 1898, Jan. 28.

Jim Hale made the following comments:

"This is a very detailed drawing of a steamboat. Leave it to the engineers to spend so much time on a drawing. It is a nicer looking boat than most of the boats they built. Seems I have seen a photo of a similar boat, maybe at the Memphis fleet. I wish Howards had made such detailed drawings of the boats they built. Their drawings were just basic outlines at best. I like the bath tub and the little overhang at the stern for the toilet. Mr. Richardson told me when they reversed the wheel it turned the toilet into a bidet."

Editor's Note: Please visit Steamboats.com's new model boat page - click here.


Mississippi River Commission.

U.S. Small Tender For Dredges, Designed and drawn under direction of Committee on Dredges M.R.C. and of Capt. H.E. Waterman, Corps of Engineers, U.S.A. Secretary.


Plate No. 20
to accompany annual report of Mississippi River Commission for 1898.

Office of the Secretary, M.R.C. Washington, DC. 1898, Jan. 28.

13.75 x 24 inches

steamboat illustration

They let me into the Governor's office in the MO state capital and I took photos of paintings of 4 famous Missourians by Gari Melchers. Am only attaching the one of Mark Twain for you, only one relevant to your site.

J.S. Rollings, politician and founder of Missouri University born 1812 Samuel L. Clemens, Mark Twain born 1835 Susan E. Blow, female educator born 1843 Eugene Field born 1850

BY WAY OF EXPLANATION, THE FOLLOWING FROM BARB SCHMIDT'S TWAIN QUOTES SITE TELLS THE HISTORY BEHIND MARK TWAIN STANDING IN THE PILOT HOUSE IN THE PAINTING: In June 1902 Clemens paid his final visit to the Mississippi River when he accepted an honorary degree at the University of Missouri in Columbia and helped dedicate a steamboat named in his honor. He "preached" in the Baptist Church at Hannibal. At St. Louis, he made a speech (see the text below) at the dedication of the steamboat MARK TWAIN.
Steamboat: MARK TWAIN
originally named ELON G. SMITH;
renamed CITY OF ST. LOUIS while a harbor boat there;
renamed MARK TWAIN in 1902 to celebrate his visit
Built: 1873
Fate: replaced in 1907 by ERASTUS WELLS


The Countess de Rochambeau christened the St. Louis harbor-boat Mark Twain in honor of Mr. Clemens, June 6, 1902. Just before the luncheon he acted as pilot. "Lower away lead!" boomed out the voice of the pilot. " Mark Twain, quarter five and one-half-six feet!" replied the leadsman below. "You are all dead safe as long as I have the wheel--but this is my last time at the wheel." At the luncheon Mr. Clemens made a short address.

FIRST of all, no--second of all--I wish to offer my thanks for the honor done me by naming this last rose of summer of the Mississippi Valley for me, this boat which represents a perished interest, which I fortified long ago, but did not save its life. And, in the first place, I wish to thank the Countess de Rochambeau for the honor she has done me in presiding at this christening. I believe that it is peculiarly appropriate that I should be allowed the privilege of joining my voice with the general voice of St. Louis and Missouri in welcoming to the Mississippi Valley and this part of the continent these illustrious visitors from France. When La Salle came down this river a century and a quarter ago there was nothing on its banks but savages. He opened up this great river, and by his simple act was gathered in this great Louisiana territory. I would have done it myself for half the money. - Mark Twain's Speeches, Harper & Brothers, 1910.

Related story in The New York Times, June 7, 1902 contains a more extensive text of the speech.

steamboat illustration

Nori -

Back in '88 I was in St. Louis and photographed this either at the office of the Waterways Journal itself or at the Mercantile Library, I was in both places that October and have a hunch that the Mercantile owns it.

Apparently it was hand painted by George C. Searle and dedicated to Donald Wright and mentions that both of them are "friends of Mary Byars" who might have been the person who commissioned the artist to do this.

The poem at the bottom:

Tis the lot of the old timer to dream of the past
tis your lot to chronicle it, as you do!
to day dream of Improvements vast -
I with you, know . . . twill prove true!

Others will put a hand to the wheel with you. and thus create cheap transportation. Rivers are waiting for boats that are new - tis thus we will maintain our Great Nation!

Kathleen Smith is given as the name of the Editor and the date appears to be 1921.

Huck Finn is at the top on a shanty boat inside a circular vignette and below the Dubuque is depicted as a "Northern Liner on Lake Pepin" (you can barely read that if you look closely).

Thought you might enjoy this artifact. - Dave

steamboat illustration

Attached photo of a painting I just bought from Michael Blaser who made this as a study for a large canvas he will begin soon depicting the start of the 1870 race of the Natchez and the Rob't E. Lee at New Orleans. 10 1/2 X 15 1/2 (size of canvas).

I provided Michael with a copy of my old stereo photo of the Lee at a N.O. landing which he used as reference for the feathers on her stacks.

The perspective on the Lee is complex and "in person" it feels as though the boat is going to sail right out of the frame.

I took Blaser's painting out of the frame and made some scans at various sizes. This is the pint-sized one.

"Vive la bateaux à vapeur!"

(As pretty as that sounds in French, "Long live the steamboat!" still has a bit more pizzazz.)

steamboat illustration

A friend in France helped me get a hold of this old LP which apparently dates back to the '60's . . . a French Dixieland Jazz band lead by "Mowgli" (named for the boy hero of The Jungle Book) Jospin a trombone player whose brother Lionel was of one of France's Prime Ministers.

The color scheme was black and purple which was too much for my eyes so I tamed it down to a nice blue.

Art work of the boat is pretty nice, reminds me of the style of MAD magazine artists like Jack Davis.

steamboat illustration

Don't know if I ever sent this scan of John Falter's 1976 painting of Abe Lincoln waiting for the steamboat ROSEBUD on the St. Joseph, Missouri landing on the Missouri River in the 1850's.

This is only one of quite a few of Falter's illustrations included in this book:

Logan, Sheridan A. (color illustrations by John Falter)
Book Description: Saint Joseph, MO published by the author 1979

It appears to me that the artist based the steamboat on the Julia Belle and included anachronisms that don't belong in this historic period, such as the swinging stage and the railings on the stage, also the style of the blue jeans and a T-shirt which are 'way ahead of their time. The book is out of print but many copies are available from abebooks.com.


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