Steamboat Illustrations, Page 3


Burny Myrick's 1976 painting of the CITY of CAIRO from his art book TIMELESS RIVER. The painting had a predominantly yellow ochre cast to it which I cooled off by giving a blue cast to the sky and the steamboat then a blue green cast to the water while retaining the original orange cast to the flags and the lettering on the paddle box. The Timeless River: A Portrait of Life on the Mississippi, 1850-1900

by Burny Myrick

Oxmoor House, Inc.

Birmingham, Alabama, 1981

CITY or CAIRO 1882-1896

Way's Packet Directory Number 1056;

Built in 1882 at Jeffersonville, Indiana by Howard Ship Yards for the Anchor Line.

Home port or owner's residence circa 1882, St. Louis, Missouri.

Original price $75,350. Hegewald and Company built her engines. Usually ran St. Louis-Vicksburg.

Had the roof bell from the EMMA C. ELLIOTT, awarded by the line to the boat making the fastest run.

She gave up the bell to the CITY OF MONROE shortly before she was wrecked in a severe tornado at St. Louis on May 27, 1896. Value at the time of her loss, $40,000


The BAILEY GAZERT and REGULATOR in Cascade Locks

Attached detail from 1905 color lithographed post card of the BAILEY GATZERT and the REGULATOR in the Cascade Locks on the Columbia River between the states of Washington and Oregon.


Beautiful cubist influenced painting by St. Louis artist Joe Jones of steamboats and the Eads Bridge:

River Front (Saint Louis Levee) 1932

40 x 60 inches Oil on canvas

Joe Jones From the Collection of Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield


Only 54 when he died, Jones managed to accomplish an incredible amount of art and influence in his relatively brief 5 and and a half decades.

He gravitated away from St. Louis to New York City and the artists and political awareness there.

During one of his last visits to St. Louis Jones concluded:

"The people stand off, convinced sufficiently but without enough courage to follow their own conviction. And still that other thing exists, indifference."

This St. Louis Art Museum online documentary is very informative . . . see link below:
Joe Jones:
Painter of the American Scene

Produced in conjunction with the Museum's 2010 exhibition entitled Joe Jones: Painter of the American Scene, this video explores the life of the extraordinary artist Joe Jones and his connections to St. Louis of the 1920s and '30s. The video features interviews with the artist's children, insights from exhibition curator Andrew Walker, and comments on Jones's work by art historians. Archival photos of St. Louis locations that played a role in the early work of the artist, as well as historic pictures of Jones and his family and friends make the film visually compelling. This film received a mid-America Emmy for directing in October 2011.



Steamboat prints from the Cities Service Oil Co. 1950's

Attached my two favorites out of four Mississippi steamer paintings that artist Jerome Biederman was commissioned to paint for a mini "portfolio" of prints that was published as a promotional giveaway to customers by the Cities Service Oil Company of New York during the 1950's.

The text on the front of the folder in which the prints were presented reads as follows: "ANOTHER TRIBUTE TO THE PAST from Cities Service and your neighborhood dealer." A publicity "blurb" about the Biederman's transportation themed prints for Cities Service said: "The originals were painted by one of Americas foremost transportation artists, who has vividly captured the romance of a bygone era."

Four of the boats in the portfolio were Mississippi River steamers, others included paintings of East Coast "walking beam" style boats.

The depiction of the MEMPHIS is fanciful which gives it a toy-like appearance with wild spandrels between the smokestacks; a second set of windows below the upper ones on the pilot house and "texas" cabin and curved topped on the "skylight" windows over the main cabin.

The pilot house on the HUDSON was painted yellow which led me to convert that to white in Photoshop.

A graduate of Chicago's American Academy of Art, Biederman created hundreds of transportation themed paintings, primarily of vintage automobiles. An article about the artist can be read in Hemmings Magazine by Mark J. McCourt at this link: hemmings.com


Way's Packet Directory Number 3896

Built at Cincinnati, Ohio in 1852. 319 Tons for the Cincinnati-Memphis trade.
Sank below Madison, Indiana on the Ohio River on February 12, 1852 with loss of considerable cargo.
Off the lists in 1860.

HUDSON (Packet, 1886-1905)

Sternwheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 2678;

Built in 1886, hull at Freedom, Pennsylvania by James Rees & Sons; completed at Pittsburgh to run the Paducah-St. Louis trade and then the St. Louis-Grafton trade.

About 1889, she ran the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati trade. Captain Ellison took stock in Pittsburgh & Cincinnati Packet Line and became the superintendent at Cincinnati.

In the fall of 1898 she went to Memphis. Her last running in the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati trade was spring 1903. That summer she ran Cincinnati-Memphis and often helped out at Cincinnati taking people to Coney Island. She sank at Cincinnati at 7:30 pm on June 25, 1904, she was laid up at the time. She was raised and docked.

Then at Cincinnati on February 5, 1905 at 9:00 pm she was lost in a fire.


Dean Cornwell's ROB'T E. LEE (from the race with the NATCHEZ painting) was referenced by illustrator Donald McKay for his 1953 dust jacket watercolor in which the young steamboat pilot Sam Clemens is at the pilot wheel in the foreground and big sidewheeler is visible in the distance for THE STORY OF MARK TWAIN which was from the Signature Book series of biographies for juvenile readers, this one written by Joan Howard and it was published by Grosset & Dunlap, NY 1953. McKay had previously illustrated both of Twain's Tom and Huck novels and also a short novelette by Irwin Shapiro called STEAMBOAT BILL and the CAPTAIN's STRAW HAT about the hero of the song "Steamboat Bill" and in the novelette Mark Twain appears as a character. The book was published by Julian Messner, Inc. NY. 1943


On the RIGHT is a detail from Missouri artist Bryan Haynes' painting of a circus unloading from a steamboat and a train. Performers and diverse animals form a parade that is marching up to the top of the hill where the tents for the circus are waiting for them above an unnamed Mississippi River town.

Bryan's 2013 art book of his NEW REGIONALISM work is beautiful and features the detail on the LEFT from his 2010 Gateway Arch mural which includes an atmospheric depiction of the Mississippi River landing at St. Louis, Missouri crowded with steamboats during the 1850s.

Two sizes of prints on canvas of the the Circus painting and other works as well as his book are available directly from Bryan via his website:


His book:


Published in 2013, the hardcover, 12 x 12 inch

204 pages presenting over 225 color illustrations.

Two different sizes of prints available on canvas:


In the nineteenth century a circus might arrive at a village on the Mississippi both by steamboat and by rail.

In the video at the following link Bryan shares his work and inspiration:

"Mural Artist - Bryan Haynes | School of Fine Arts | Academy of Art University"

Bryan Haynes shares images of his work throughout his career as an illustrator and mural artist.

Yahoo.com video


Eagle Packet Co. 1940 and Golden Eagle Club 1945 ephemera.


Front cover 7.40 X 10.40 inches of Volume 6 of the 16 Volume Series THE GOLDEN TREASURY OF KNOWLEDGE, 1961

Cover artist Alton Tobey appears to have chosen photos of the GORDON C. GREENE (background) and the GOLDEN EAGLE (foreground) as references for his painting. Tobey depicted the EAGLE's smokestacks as being cylindrical until about a third of the way up from the deck, then they arbitrarily began to taper upwards so they stacks are narrower at the top which I don't recall seeing on a photo or illustration of any Mississippi and tributaries style of steamboat. Outside of that and a rather bilious color scheme this is an interesting illustration.

One of the 28 articles in Volume 6 is devoted to THE FIRST STEAMSHIPS pages 460-63


Product of Fred W. Hinz & Sons Co. Cincinnati. Circa 1950(?)

The illustration (with "full moon") is based on a daytime photo of the Gordon C. Greene that we have in one of the old photos sections.

ALISON St. Louis Packet On Ohio At Marietta 1898 Denis M. Willamson 1976-77 HALF size

"St. Louis Packet Alison on the Ohio River at Marietta 1898"
9 1/2 X 16 1/4 pen and ink & watercolor painting with a coat of lacquer over the surface. The ink lines are exceedingly fine so this is more likely a very good print from a larger original pen & ink graphic rather than the original itself. The lacquer gives it a yellowish cast in the areas that would have been white otherwise. The scanner color-corrected the hues to "normal."

Upper right this is signed Designed by Denis M. Williamson 1976 and in the lower right it is signed again D.M. Williamson - 1977

The "ALISON" isn't listed anywhere so must be a fictional boat, perhaps named for the artist's wife/girl friend or daughter. Can find no reference to a St. Louis Packet Company either but there were a dozen or so packet companies with St. Louis in their names but all affiliated in their name with another city or river such as Memphis & St. Louis Packet Company and the St. Louis & Tennessee River Packet Company

A St. Louis packet on the Ohio at Marietta in 1898 would've been a long way from home.

The artist included a pen and ink logo to the right of the paddlebox: HOUSE ON GALLEGHERVILLE ROAD (which is in DOWNINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA) which may have been the where Denis Williamson's home and/or studio were located. The antique dealer I purchased this from is located in Denver, Pennsylvania 36.4 miles (46 minutes) northwest of Downington.


4-1/2 inch diameter tin that holds 3 1/2 ounces from the Scandinavian Tobacco Co. distributed by HOLLCO in the U.S. The scan picks up scratches etc. not visible to the naked eye. I'll try a digital photo as well, it might look prettier. What "Finest Old Belt" is I don't know although if you shredded a leather belt; put it in a pipe and ignited it, the result when you inhaled the smoke would probably be very much like "ta'backy."


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