Steamboat Illustrations, Page 3


Charming stylized Showboat pushed by a Towboat: original painted Disney animation background 9 1/2 X 13 1/2 inches. We believe this was made for a Chip 'n Dale cartoon "shorts" program.


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.


Attached panoramic illustration on 2 pages of a 1961 German language edition of HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Horst Lemke. Huck Finn and Jim are on their raft in the left half of the painting.

In the novel the wrecked steamboat was named "WALTER SCOTT" but the name of the boat in Lemke's painting looks like it starts with "J. HA . . ." , like "JOHN HANCOCK.

I asked my German correspondent Andreas Butter in Berlin if the boat's name was translated in the text and he replied:

"The steamboat: Nice watercolor and ink style of the 1960s. Yes: In the text, interesting translation of the dialect, and there is no mention of the steamer's name."

Andreas' Dad Benno did some illustrations based on TOM SAWYER for posters used in classroom teaching around 1960 in a style reminiscent of some of the avant garde animated cartoons of the '50's. Andreas spent his boyhood in Dessau on the Elbe river in Germany.


Attached scan of cover of wonderful publication by the Winona Steamboat Museum circa 1959 . . . the cover format is a "send-up" of National Geographic's magazine covers.

The towboat James P. Pearson (bottom left, credit MURPHY LIBRARY) was remodeled in rather corny fashion into the Julius C. Wilkie (upper left opening day dedication booklet) which was parked on a concrete platform near the Mississippi at Winona until it was dismantled in 2008 and the engines and paddlewheel ended up in North Carolina.

The color photo (below) was taken by Dave Thomson in October, 2007.


FrankLeslies SCIOTO & JOHN LOMAS 15 July1882 HALF size

Frank Leslie's Weekly
15 July, 1882
Scan of Front cover and transcript of story from page 327


The most serious disaster which occurred in the country on the Fourth of July was the sinking of the excursion steamer Scioto, with a party of 700 pleasure-seekers on board, by a collision with the steam-tug John Lomas, on the Ohio River, near Mingo Junction, Ohio, shortly after sunset. The Scioto had started from East Liverpool with her load of excursionists at half-past six o'clock in the morning and gone down the river as far as Moundsville, where she arrived about half-past one in the afternoon.

After lying there about two hours the steamer started back, and all went well until about eight o'clock, when she was near Mingo Junction. At this point the steam-tug John Lomas was seen approaching, coming down the river at the rate of fifteen miles per hour. Both boats whistled to indicate which course each would take, but there was some misunderstanding of the signals, and they ran into each other almost at full speed. The Lomas struck the Scioto on the port side, fifteen feet from her bow, and made a large hole, through which the hull filled rapidly and sank at once. The scene which ensued was full of horrors. The hundreds of excursionists were thrown into the water, which a survivor describes as looking black with struggling human beings, the expression of whose faces was frightful beyond description. Mon, woman and children were crying piteously for help. The Lomas at once made for shore and unloaded her passengers, after which she did all that was possible to save the struggling victims of the disaster. The heaviest loss of life occurred among the people on the lower deck, who were carried down with the sinking steamer. Eighteen dead bodies were found and identified during the first two days after the disaster, and forty-seven persons were known to be still missing, so that the total loss of life will probably reach at least sixty-five. Large crowds of people visited the scone of the disaster during the past week, and the sights of distress and grief among those looking for lost relatives and friends were most touching. Captain Thomas, of the Scioto, has become insane from grief, and is closely guarded lest he should injure himself. He is constantly calling for his son, whom ho says he murdered. A large share of the responsibility for the disaster rests upon the owners of the Scioto, for the steamer was only authorized by law to carry seventy-five passengers, while she is known to have had at least 700 on board when she sank.

Riot Aboard the DUBUQUE 29 July, 1869 HALF size

Attached scan of page from Harper's Weekly 28 August 1869 illustrating a race riot (white raftsmen vs. black crew members) aboard the DUBUQUE (1867 -1879) on 29 July 1869 above Davenport, Iowa on the Mississippi. Below is additional information about the DUBUQUE riot from the Dubuque online Encyclopedia. encyclopediadubuque.org

The Dubuque, fully equipped and furnished at an estimated cost of $100,000, began service in 1867 as part of the Northern Line.

The boat was 230 feet long and operated with four boilers and two engines. Fifty-two "palace staterooms" were capable of accommodating 102 passengers. This boat's name, unfortunately, is linked to the worst race riot on the upper Mississippi.

On July 24, 1869, the Dubuque left Davenport with over two hundred deck passengers including many raftsmen who had been drinking heavily after being paid.

In an effort to prevent anyone from leaving the lower deck and not paying their fare, an African American clerk was posted on the stairs leading to the second deck.

A fight broke out when one of the lumbermen attempted to leave the lower deck for more liquor.

Sent back to the lower deck, the lumberman gathered his armed friends and began looking for every African American they could find.

The captain succeeded at Hampton, Illinois, in sending someone to shore for help.

The ringleader of the riot, Mike Lynch, slipped ashore at Comanche, Iowa. The boat was stopped by soldiers of the Rock Island Arsenal and the rioters were taken into custody.

Nine men were killed during the riot on the Dubuque.

The incident was the only one of its kind during seventy-five years of rafting on the upper Mississippi.

Ten of the rioters were later indicted.

Seven, including Lynch who was captured later, were sent to the state penitentiary at Joliet, Illinois.

In 1876 the ill-fated boat burned at Alton Slough while in winter quarters.


Detail of the vignette on an 1850 waybill written by Henry M. Childs, a forwarding and commission merchant at Catlettsburg, Kentucky which is at the confluence of the Ohio and Big Sandy River in 1850.

The name of the boat is written in long hand and the only word it vaguely resembles is "Nebraska." I sent you a scan of the document itself and perhaps you or someone in our "fan base" will be able to decipher it.

There must be folks who specialize in reading the scrawls of the penmanship-challenged folks of yesteryear.

brief history excerpted from Wikipedia: Wikipedia

Catlettsburg is located in the northeast corner of Kentucky at the confluence of the Ohio and Big Sandy rivers. It is considered part of the Kentucky, West Virginia, and Ohio "Tri-state area".

A United States Post Office was first opened here in 1808 as Mouth of Sandy, Va.

In 1849, civil engineer James Fry, was commissioned to lay out the original town of Catlettsburg (the area from 24th to 26th streets, and from the former Front to present-day Walnut Streets). T

The lots were quickly sold, and the community was named after brothers Horatio and Alexander "Sawny" Catlett.

They first settled here in in 1811 and resided at the location for at least 26 years.

After establishing this settlement, the Catlett's operated a combination business here that consisted of a tavern, post office, trading post, and inn, all out of a log structure they built from virgin timber in 1811.

Due to its location along the route of the American frontier, the Catlett's provided hospitality to such notable patrons as General Stonewall Jackson, Henry Clay, Felix Grundy and future U.S. President James Garfield.

Catering to the ever growing river traffic, the Catlett business flourished and the present day town grew up around it. Unbelievably, the Catlett home built in 1811 is still standing two hundred years later, and has long been used as the "servants quarters" of Beechmoor Place, a large home located on Walnut Street.


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."


This is Michael Blaser's UNDER THE BRIDGE painting which I received from Iowa today and put it back in the frame that was made for it. Michael adjusted the hog chain posts on the Queen City and Tacoma to correspond with a reference model that Fryant built of the QC and photos of the Tacoma. This is above the hearth of my fireplace with ship's clock and some old wood type spelling STEAMBOAT and TOM SAWYER. Little like vintage bronze sculpture bronze on the right is the spitting image of Tom Sawyer.


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