Steamboats in Advertisements, Page 3


1944 advertising art featuring tug boats in a harbor

22 July 1944 Saturday Evening Post art by E.P. Couse of several tug boats, the one in the foreground assisting an ocean liner On the far left against the horizon a Merchant Marine vessel which is relevant to the theme of the Westinghouse advertisement below the artwork. The headline was "this time . . . . let's keep our Merchant Marine" with the text of the article reminding Americans how the Merchant Marine was built up during World War 1 and then fell behind until 1936 when the Merchant Marine Act was enacted and the fleet of merchant vessels was built up to exceed by half what had been built for WW 1 and was just in time to serve wartime needs for World War 2 in which we were still engaged when this was published.

Have not found any biographical material on E.P. Couse yet but found listings of his illustrations from the late '30's into the early '40's at the following link:

COUSE, E. P. (fl. 1930s-1940s)
Illustration; Liberty Mar 13 1937
Illustration; American Cavalcade May 1937
Illustration; Liberty Oct 12 1940
Illustration; Liberty Apr 5 1941
Illustration; Liberty May 3 1941
Illustration; Liberty May 17 1941
Illustration; Liberty Aug 30 1941
Illustration; Liberty Nov 29 1941
Illustration; Liberty Dec 13 1941
Illustration; Liberty Feb 7 1942
Illustration; The Blue Book Magazine Jul 1942
Illustration; The Country Gentleman Sep 1942
Illustration; The Country Gentleman Oct 1942

McDonnell MEMPHIS half size for Nori

Attached scan of detail of a 1943 McDonnell aircraft advertisement which promoted the company's present war time industry and the future building aircraft for the post-war military in their plant at the Memphis Airport.

In the sky above the city the artist added a huge futuristic airplane with twin "pusher propellers" on the back of both wings.

I didn't include the aircraft in this scan since it rather overwhelms the city and the steamboat on the river, I'll leave it to the imagination of our fans and I have provided a "for reference only" scan for your amazement that doesn't need to be posted.

Transcript of the text below the graphic and headline:

"High on the Chickasaw Bluffs overlooking the mighty Mississippi, stands Memphis . . . historic, colorful, truly representative of the romantic river cities of the Old South, but considerations other than its charm governed our choice of Memphis as the site for additional aircraft manufacturing plant facilities.

Favorable climatic conditions, accessibility of location, adequate supplies of labor, exceptionally good electric, gas, and water facilities, enlightened and progressive civic and community leadership—all these are factors which influenced the location of a McDonnell Plant at the Memphis Municipal Airport.

Details concerning the type and performance of aircraft which will soon roll out on our runways—are of military necessity, restricted. But you may be sure that these aircraft will play an important role in hastening the day of victory for America and our Allies.

That's our job in Memphis, now. But one day, when victory has been won and peacetime transportation is resumed, this old river city will become an important ocean port—in the Ocean of the Air.

Then, we hope to add our share to the contributions which Memphis and the New South will make to the New World of the Air.

EadsBridgeStLouisTireAd 18 April 1925 Sat Eve HALF size EXP

The Eads Bridge at St. Louis with a Steamboat and a Motor Car
Ad for Kelly Flexible Cord Tires
18 April 1925 Saturday Evening Post

Text of the Steamboat/Motor Car advertisement:

The Peregrinations of the Pecks

After a delightful trip across country from Pinehurst, the Pecks have arrived in St. Louis, where we see them stopping for a few minutes on the picturesque waterfront to allow Jim the younger to add one of the famous Mississippi River steamboats to his collection of snapshots. The two young Pecks are getting a liberal education, father is having a wonderful time and the change of scene and release from housework are doing mother a world of good. The whole family, therefore, is enjoying the trip immensely.

THE KELLY FLEXIBLE CORD is the only tire in which the bead is built in as an integral part. Since it is this new Integral Bead construction that makes the flexibility possible, it follows that no tire built by the ordinary method can offer the same combination of mileage and comfort

Rugged, dependable and easy-riding, here is indeed the best tire that even Kelly has ever built.


Armstrong Tire ad with Callie French's Showboat NEW SENSATION

"Mississippi Masterpiece" Saturday Evening Post 4th May 1946 page 128

Captain Callie French's "Showboat" plied the river for decades and - like Armstrongs - gave satisfaction to millions "Hats off to Natchez, Mississippi, southern home of the Armstrong tire . . ."

Painted illustration of French's showboat NEW SENSATION pushed by a towboat by unknown artist. Would have been even better without the air brushed graphic of tire lower right.

Miller Tires advertisement with steamboat illustration

This is a colorized version of an old ad for Miller Tires. The original was a black and white pen and ink drawing.


Vintage promotional ad in Waterways Journal 100th Anniversary Issue Waterways Journal published their 100th Anniversary Issue on June 29th, 1987 of 148 pages and offered subscribers a special hard cover edition from which came the attached reproduction ad on page 117 by "The Makers of the Gardner Steering Gear" who ran a series commemorating the heroism of pilots during the steamboat era. The "door mat" in front of the pilot wheel says PRAIRIE BELLE which was the name of the fictional steamboat that John Hay created for his poem about a heroic engineer he named Jim Bludso who stayed at his post until all the survivors got safely ashore when the boat burned. The artist was G.C. Searle and the caption was an excerpt regarding "Running Hat Island" from LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI (1883) by Sam Clemens.


Original excursion boat "broadside" . . . letter press print for a "Moonlight Excursion" sponsored by the Retail Clerks Ass'n of Hannibal, MO to go up river to Quincy, Illinois and back. A lock and dam opened below Quincy in 1938 which would have made these voyages more time consuming after that date.

Way's Directory No. 5500 UNCLE SAM
Sternwheeler Sterling Island, Illinois, 1898, originally the excursion steamer JACOB RICHTMAN.
Prior to 1904 bought by Clat Adams and his brother of Quincy, Ill.. Burned in Quincy Bay, 1904, having been renamed.
Rebuilt and by 1910 was owned by the Missouri River Excursion Co., Capt. E. H. Mattheus, master.
While backing away from the landing at Kansas City, Mo., on May 18, 1910, she collided with a sand barge and sank after having been run ashore.
There were 95 passengers on board but no life loss due largely to John J Pryor, one of the owners who, although he could not swim, stood by and saw all safely ashore.

Kelly Tires ad steamboat illustration

This is a detail from a 1953 Kelly Tires ad by an artist named Wainwright (first name not legible). It's based on a photo of the Piasa taken on the St. Louis levee I sent a while ago. The painting is certainly idealized from the photo with everything cleaned up, smokestacks made higher, bridge made grander. Nice job of idealization and nostalgia.


With the exception of images credited to public institutions,
everything on this page is from a private collection.
Please contact for permission for commercial use.*