Currier & Ives Illustrations - Page 2


Currier & Ives NEW ORLEANS LEVEE lithograph

New Orleans Levee - Painted by W.A. Walker
Reproduced in Oil Colors by Currier & Ives 1884

Leaded glass steamboat Cover April 2012 MEMPHIS DOWNTOWNER

Information about the artists who created this stained glass window based on a Currier & Ives print is included on the jupg. Found this recently online on the cover of "The Memphis Downtowner" tourist guide magazine for April 2012.

The only sharp image of the entire window is the small thumbnail that in the upper left quadrant. Would be worth visiting Tug's Casual Grill in Harbor Town at Memphis just to see the window in person. Bet it is very impressive, hope that a larger image of the entire window turns up some day.

Mel Crair Twain Currier & Ives Inflence and Newsweek Cover

Mel Crair used Currier & Ives prints published after the Civil War as reference for the steamboats and Mississippi River for his Mark Twain portrait. See more about this magazine cover, click here.

steamboat illustrations

The Alton Lime Company (Alton, Illinois on the Mississippi) put out a series of fine reproductions of Currier & Ives steamboat lithographs. This one of the race of the R.E. Lee and Natchez was printed in 1955.

I found it framed in the biggest antique store in Alton last October and had it restored to removed some "foxing" and other minor flaws. Am having it reframed to enhance its splendor.

recent acquisitions

The artist Fanny Palmer (1812 - 1876) [full name Mrs. Frances Flora Bond Palmer] came to the U.S. from England during the 1840's.

Ms. Palmer was a prolific scenic painter and Currier & Ives used many of her works as the basis for their prints including many steamboat scenes set along the Mississippi.

Attached small file off the internet of Palmer's 1865 watercolor "Mississippi in Time of Peace" which is in the M. and M. Karolik Collection in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Below the painting is the pictorial portion of Mississippi Lime Company's 1982 reprint of Currier & Ives' 1885 edition of the print "Mississippi in Time of Peace." It is interesting to compare the two and see the changes made by the Currier & Ives lithographers in adapting Palmer's painting to their own print style, color and format.

recent acquisitions

The most atmospheric of the Mississippi Lime Company reprints: Scene on the Lower Mississippi - Bound Down the River based on original art by George Fuller (American, 1822-1884) Originally printed by Endicott & Company The figure on top of the PRINCESS's pilot house appears to be a wraith-like woman in a bridal gown, guess she's a "Princess incarnate." The moonlit riverscape is nostalgic and evocative.

match box cover

1.30 x 2.15 inch match box cover. BIG RIVER safety matches

The commercial artist may have derived the steamboat MAYFLOWER from a Currier & Ives print.


LEE vs. NATCHEZ 1946 magazine illustration

This uncredited illustration appears to have been influenced by the color lithographs of Currier & Ives.

A River Race that Made History by Julian Harris (Rob't E. Lee vs. Natchez)

CORONET magazine
September 1946
pages 144-145


Sunny South 1883 LOC digital Calvert Lithography & Engraving Company

Detail from color lithograph of a scene on the Lower Mississippi entitled "SUNNY SOUTH"

Published in 1883 by Calvert Lithography & Engraving Company


Through the Bayou by Torchlight
Currier & Ives
Hand-colored lithograph
8.37 x 12.37 inches


This pair just in from New Orleans, circa mid 1900's, silk screened variations on Currier & Ives lithographs by J. Clayton. Based on the Great Race on the Mississippi and Rounding a Bend with names of boats changed or reversed.


Both the AMERICA (photo on the left) 1867-68 and the QUEEN OF THE WEST 1854-63 had "'double cabins' with two tiers of stateroom decks" which was relatively rare in the Mississippi River valley, you'd see more double deckers on the Hudson River "walking beam" style boats Back East. The 1866 drawing by Fanny Palmer that Currier & Ives featured the QUEEN OF THE WEST in the lithograph "Champions of the Mississippi: 'A race for the Buckhorns'" which is interesting when it is compared to the photo of the AMERICA. It's not known if Fanny Palmer had actually seen the QUEEN OF THE WEST since she may not have visited the Mississippi River until after the Civil War was over in 1865 and the QUEEN had been lost in battle in 1863 after she had been converted into a ram in 1862. There may have been a photo or a graphic by another artist Palmer could have used for reference. She also featured the QUEEN in "'Rounding a bend' on the Mississippi: the parting salute." Another double-decker was the MAYFLOWER by Currier & Ives.

Sidewheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 0239

Built in 1867 in Cincinnati, Ohio at the Morton and Startzman Boat Yard for the U.S. Mail Line Co in Cincinnati-Louisville trade, with a "double cabin", two tiers of stateroom decks, the same as the packet UNITED STATES. Launched November 21, 1866 and made her trial trip April 27, 1867, Captain David Whitten, master. Charles DuFour was pilot in 1868 but was not on watch the night of December 4, 1868; on watch in his place, above Warsaw, Kentucky, was Captain Napoleon B. Jenkins, "an extra". Not far above Warsaw, at Rayl's Landing, Indiana, above the mouth of Bryants Creek, the America and her partner United States collided. Both sank and burned. As late as 1895, the wreck of the America, near Bryants Creek, showed in extreme low water; relic hunters were often rewarded by finding souvenirs

Sidewheel Packet

Way's Packet Directory Number 4620

Built in 1854 at Cincinnati, Ohio
Early on, the QUEEN OF THE WEST was in the Cincinnati-New Orleans trade.
At the outbreak of the Civil War, she was taken over by the U.S. Government with Captain Richard M. Wade in charge.
She was converted to a ram and on April 25, 1862 she became one of Charles Ellet's fleet on the Ohio River with which he intended to clear the Mississippi River of all Confederate war craft. She was quite active in Battle of Memphis where she sank the GENERAL LOVELL and captured the GENERAL PRICE and entire crew. On February 11, 1863 she raided the lower Red River capturing A.W. Baker, Berwick Bay, Era No. 5 and an unidentified boat.

On February 19, 1863, she was run aground and captured to become a Confederate gunboat.

A month later, March 14, 1863, during the Battle of Grand Lake, she was struck with a percussion shell which set afire cotton bales piled aboard for protection. She then burned until her magazine exploded killing 26 hands.


Currier & Ives Inspired Pen & Ink drawing cover of the menu for the "Show Boat of Boston" restaurant Detail of a Currier & Ives inspired Pen & Ink drawing that is faithful to the original lithograph signed by Jack Frost for the cover of the menu for a restaurant named "Show Boat of Boston" located at Dock: 252 Huntington Avenue Boston, Massachesetts. "Plantation Dinner" & "Show Boat Special" were the headings of of dinners offered inside the menu.


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.*

All captions provided by Dave Thomson, primary contributor and historian.