Steamboat Letterheads, page 2
Letterhead for the Security Steamboat Co. of Point Pleasant, West Virginia which ran the steamer HOMER SMITH
Letter written on Security Steamboat Co. of Point Pleasant, West Virginia stationery by purser J.G. "Jack" Smith (son of Homer Smith) to "Frank" who may have assisted purser Smith on the HOMER SMITH in seasons past.
I am writing you to let you know that our season will open April 5. at Point Pleasant.
Let me hear from you by return mail if I can count on you being here.
Hope you are well and have had a good winter.
yours very truly
The image inside the oval vignette has been upgraded with a detail from a painting of the boat by artist William E. Reed.
A separate photo of the HOMER SMITH at a landing is also included above.
Sternwheel Packet/excursion steamer
Way's Packet Directory Number- 2658
Built at Jeffersonville, Indiana, by Howard Ship Yards, 1914
Owned by Security Steamboat Company (Homer Smith, John Samuel Spencer, C.C. Bowyer and others of the company). Officers & Crew:
Captain Peter Holloway (master)
Captain Henry E. Holloway (pilot until 1928)
John Douglass (purser, later master)
Jack Smith (son of Homer Smith, was purser)
Jimmy O'Brien (mate);
Captain W.C. Lepper, Jr. (master)
Ran on the Mississippi, Ohio and Kanawha rivers
When built, at a cost of $29,619, the HOME SMITH had a dance floor on the forward end of the main deck with staterooms behind it. The texas deck also held staterooms.
In 1915, she ran excursions on the lower Ohio River in the Louisville area, and once tried the Louisville-Cincinnati trade.
In 1916 she ran a Pittsburgh-New Orleans Mardi Gras trip and then an Easter Cruise, Pittsburgh-New Orleans. She then became a regular excursion boat at Pittsburgh, removing the cabins and staterooms.
She wintered in the mouth of the Kanawha and ran tramp excursions in the spring. She ran day trips to Sewickley, Pennsylvania to Walnut Beach, a resort. She was sold to the Pittsburgh Amusement Company in 1928 and renamed GREATER PITTSBURGH.
Letterhead "Steamboat Machinery A SPECIALTY" The Marietta Manufacturing Co. 17 Aug 1896.
Attached the letterhead from the Steamboat Machinery division of the Marietta Manufacturing Co. 1913, requesting a railroad car load of coal from Rardin Coal Co. in Athens, Ohio which is 48 miles west of Marietta.
It took two steamboat engines like the on depicted on the letterhead to operate the paddlewheel on a sternwheeler. There would be an engine in the portside corner of the engine room image and another on the starboard side.
These engines were synchronized to operate the pitman arms connected to the open ends of the sternwheel to propel the boat ahead or astern and at what speed per orders transmitted by "telegraph" to the engineers from the pilot house.
Jim Hale responded with great insight into the engine on this letterhead:
IT'S NOT OFTEN THAT YOU SEE A LETTERHEAD FOR A STEAMBOAT ENGINE MANUFACTURING COMPANY. THE ENGINE IS NOT YOUR REGULAR LEVER ENGINE. IT IS A TANDEM COMPOUND ENGINE WITH HIGH PRESSURE CYLINDER (THE SMALL ONE) IN FRONT AND THE LOW PRESSURE CYLINDER IN BACK LIKE THE ONES ON THE NATCHEZ IN NEW ORLEANS.
[NOTE: THE STEAM ENGINES ON THE NATCHEZ (LAUNCHED IN 1975) WERE BUILT FOR U.S. STEEL CORPORATION'S TOWBOAT CLAIRTON IN 1925].
THE VALVE GEAR ON THE ENGINE ON THE LETTERHEAD IS DIFFERENT THAN ANY I HAVE EVER SEEN. IT WAS PROBABLY MARIETTA' MANUFACTURING'S OWN INVENTION. LOOKS LIKE THE LETTER IS IN GOOD SHAPE. THANKS FOR SENDING ME A COPY.
P.S. Athens, Ohio (where Rardin Coal Co. was located) is 48 miles west of Marietta, Ohio in case anybody is interested.
Attached are scans and my transcript of a 4 page letter about a pending law suit involving the steamboat Morning Star in 1915.
15 years later the man who wrote this letter W.A. Blair (Walter Blair) wrote
A Raft Pilot's Log: A History of the Great Rafting Industry on the Upper Mississippi 1840-1915
Published in 1930 by the Arthur H. Clark Company, Cleveland, Ohio.
Northern Steamboat Co.
W.A. BLAIR, General Manager
W.H. LAMONT, General Agent
Str. Morn Star
Sept 9 1915
Hon M.J. Fugnia (?)
Atty at Law
Fountain City (Wisconsin)
We landed at Alma (Wisconsin) in the usual way and at the usual place with a breeze on shore.
Plaintiff's little open flat boat (not worth $20.00) lay just below the jog in stone wall.
When our boat swung in one of our loose hanging fenders near our starboard wheel caught the gunwall (gunwale) of the flat and broke out a chunk perhaps 2 ft long x 6 in deep
When we got around again a week later as were getting out of the landing
this same flat still there and floating swung out and caught our wheel.
We pulled it back to shore and made it fast. It was not injured in any way by contact this 2(nd) time as the wheels were stopped when it caught.
The flat now lies out on shore two miles below town inside where the injury can be examined.
Plaintiff was negligent in leaving a light frail boat in the landing or so to it that a large boat would swing in on it.
The Morning Star was then on regular business at her
usual time, and she was handled with skill and care by her pilot on watch and the Captain on the roof making every effort to avoid any injury to the Steamer or other craft.
The Steamer swinging in close enough to touch the little flat was due to the current and the light wind on shore which defendant could not control or prevent.
These facts can be proven by my testimony supported by the 2 pilots and some others of the crew.
The slight injury could have been easily repaired for
2 or 3 dollars without any loss of time or business.
The Plaintiff made no effort to repair or care for his boat - he tried to throw on to us and I absolutely refuse to pay anything in settlement.
We will defend to the last.
Kindly attend and let me know what is necessary.
The Etruria case clearly covers this one.
We have had a hard season and end it a loser but we can not stand bleeding.
Very Truly yours
W A Blair
Streckfus Steamboat Line's Letterhead 1911 with transcript of correspondence
Streckfus Steamboat Envelope and 2 pages of correspondence on Streckfus stationary, large file of the letterhead from the stationary also included.
On the back of the envelope is written in pencil:
"Letter from two women (Grace & Gertrude) who worked on one of the steamboats, probably as chambermaids."
Sounds like Grace may have been trying to make her beau Bennie in Superior jealous by implying all sorts of goings on with young men who worked on the steamboat. Grace might have been hoping to get reluctant Bennie to propose marriage.
The envelope was Postmarked
June 28 1911
Mr. Benj. A. Polzin
Box 2, East End
June 28th 1911
Dear Bennie -
Will just drop you a line to let you know I'm still in the land of the living. Went to P.O. in St. Louis & thought I'd get a letter from you as folks said they would forward mail but didn't get a blamed thing.
Talk about your good times, we sure are having it. Just the dandiest bunch you ever met. The boys are simply great to us.
Fred Smith, a nice boy, met us in St. L - and we sure did go some. Also two of the other boys here on the boat went out to Anheuser-Busch. Have a terrible crush on one of them. Gert (Gertrude) & the 2nd clerk have it pretty bad.
Wonder where you are now. Will send this to the Superior & maybe it will be forwarded to you & then again, you may never get this.
Went through Winona in the night going down so didn't see Elsie & go through going back on Friday night at 12 o'clock he ain't going to bed at all Friday night as that is our last night on the boat.
Never had such a peachy time
Excuse scribbling but boat rocks & I can't write straight.
Must close & write home.
[An additional paragraph at the bottom of the last page in a different style of handwriting after Grace signed off]:
You ought to see the way Grace has been flirting it sure is terrible but don't you care it will all come out in the wash. We sure are having one swell time but leave it to us to do that.
1913 Mississippi River Commission correspondence
Attached type written letter dated 22 October, 1913 from a Major in the Corps of Engineers of the Mississippi River Commission office in St. Louis to an unspecified person at Brown & Anderson in Memphis concerning maps of and changes to the Mississippi River.
SNAKE RIVER TRANSPORTATION COMPANY
Scan of an original letterhead in electrotype format on a printer's block measuring .70 x 5.70 inches attached to a custom sawed backing of wood. damoselsprintersblocks.com "Electrotypes have a copper printing surface backed with stereo metal and are approximately 12 points thick."
A "proof" of the printer's block was created by reversing the negative image to a positive mirror image in Photoshop. Mention of the S.R.T. Co. is made in "The Report of the Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1891- 93" On page 3375 in Appendix 10 - in Capt. Thomas W. Symons', Corps of Engineers report pertaining to the upper Columbia and Snake Rivers, Oregon and Washington in 1893:
"The Snake River Transportation Company reported that their steamer NORMA has done nothing during the past year, with the exception of making one trip of 8 miles from the foot of Bay Horse Rapids to Huntington Bridge, where she still remains tied up. On this trip she carried no freight or passengers."
Diamond Jo Steamers Letterhead from 1911
Mississippi Packet Co. stationery letter February 1907
Of the 3 sheets of paper that this 1907 was written on I have only scanned the first page and composited the scans of the front and back onto the attached file.
Have transcribed the whole letter below which was very legible for the most part. The "N" word is used so I blurred it in the attached file and only left the first letter and last two letters in the transcript which I figured you would prefer.
The first paragraph is the most interesting.
Handwritten letter on 3 pages paper, horizontal format 5.90 X 8.70 inches
Sent in a 3.60 x 6.60 inch manila envelope 2 cent stamp post marked NEW ORLEANS FEB 23 8 30 AM 1907
Mr. Geo I. Reeves
904 B St. S.W.
Post marked Received in Washington D.C. FEB 25 3 AM 1907
Mississippi Packet Co.
J.B. WOODS, PRESIDENT
OFFICE 320 MAGAZINE STREET
ROOM 201 BOARD OF TRADE BUILDING
Long Distance Phone Main 3734
Dear George -
This afternoon I was up on the roof thinking, and it occurred to me that perhaps I spoke in my last letter about watching the paddle-wheel in a way that would make your blood run cold.
The thing has a fascination for me, but I don't take any chances of falling into it. Ever since you educated me last summer on the etiquette of gun-play I've seen the foolishness of taking unnecessary chances or tempting providence by putting yourself in dangerous places just for fun. I was disgust by watching the ship's mate and two young men passengers target-shooting with a .22 repeater right across the heads of the deck-hanks who were at work getting out & sorting up the freight for the next landing. They would laugh and thing a fine joke when one of the [n word] would be walking across near their targets (glass bottles stuck out on the gang plank) and they could care him half to death by smashing a bottle close by him when he wasn't expecting it, - and they didn't always hit the target either. I called them pretty poor. The target couldn't have been over fifty feet away and they had some good sized bottles, big potatoes, etc. for targets.
We landed at Baton Rouge just before noon and had an hour to look around. I took a picture (?) of the State House and we took a ride around town on the street-car. In front a quaint old-fashioned house we stopped to admire a strange shrub in bloom, and a young girl about highs school age stepped out and offered us some flowers. They are Japonicas and look at a little distance like double pink roses, but the petals are thicker and set more regularly, so the flower is more rosette-like.
At New Orleans we were told that two French war-ships were expected soon. I came out in this morning's paper tat one of them came in last evening and collided with a fruit steamer going out, cutting the latter clean in two amidships & sinking her inside of five minutes. No lives were lost and not damage done to the Frenchman. There were a lot of cross-ties on the merchant man's deck, designed for R.R. work in Central America, and many of the crew escaped by using these as floats.
-------- 7 pm Fri Feb 22. New Orleans 1016 Canal St.
We got in about 11 am and went to the P.O. first thing - and I got your enclosing Dr. t.s (?) Mari pries (?)
What did he send you 65 copies for, if only 25 them are free? Does he think we want to buy 40 more copies when I can make all I want? He's trying to soak us.
Alfs & Grandma's. I've "squoze it some, but there's more in it." (Probably a private joke, sounds like it could refer to something "dermatological")
Only five more days till we start home, and about five weeks I suppose until I see you. I wish it was less than five minutes.
Mrs. H. shied at staying any longer in N.O. when she found she must pay $1.50 per night for her and Grace's lodging & meals extra, so she is going out to the Abarrs to visit them for the rest of her time in the south. They're awful nice, cordial people of course but they are our friends not hers, & I hate to have her sponge on them.
As we got off the boat we were in time to see a section of the U.S. coast artillery - stationed here - set up their apparatus and fire - steen (somewhere between 13 and 19?) salutes in honor of Washington's birthday. The French & Italian men-of-war were all strung up with pennants of all colors & they responded politely to the salutes.
We were out at Audubon Park this p.m. & visit(ed) the La. State University, Sugar Exp. station. We saw all the machinery & tasted real molasses & sugar but they were not grinding (probably referring to sugar cane) this time of year.
Supper time - Miriam
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All captions provided by Dave Thomson, Steamboats.com primary contributor and historian.