The James E. York Riverboat Post Card Collection


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Save on your favorite magazines - Magazineline: Since 1974

Western River Steamboats and Post Card Collecting
by
James E. York

Pg. 7
exploded just above Memphis, the day after this picture was taken, with an estimated loss of 1,547 lives. The catastrophe was comparable only with the sinking of the steamship TITANIC off the coast of Newfoundland in 1912, when 1,513 lives were lost.
....13..The ISLAND QUEEN (third) which exploded at the Monongahela wharves at Pittsburgh in September 1947, with the loss of 19 lives. This excursion boat had a passenger capacity of 4,000. Had she been loaded with passengers at the time of this explosion, the disaster may have equaled or very probably exceeded the terrible explosion of the SULTANA mentioned above in respect to loss of life.
.....Views of the following steamboats built in the 1860's are worthy of mention: The Wheeling & Cincinnati packets MAJOR ANDERSON and WILD WAGONER, the Memphis & Cincinnati packet GOLDEN EAGLE, the White River packet ROWENA, the St. Louis & Keokuk packets LUCY BERTRAM, ANDY JOHNSON, and J. H. JOHNSON. One view taken at New Orleans in 1870 or earlier includes the following packets: W. R. ARTHUR, CORNELIA, HENRY AMES, and LIZZIE GILL. The Louisville & Cincinnati packet JACOB STRADER 1835-1866 is the oldest boat in my collection.
..... I find certain cards more interesting than others. The history of the particular boat or view has a lot to do with this. I like views best which show the boats underway, the more black smoke the better. I also find interesting levee scenes, which show several packet boats tied up at the landing. Often these

Pg. 8
views show cargoes stacked high on the levees, with roustabouts loading or unloading a steamer, and sometimes show interesting old time characters looking on the scene. The drawback in this type of card is that the names of the different boats are difficult or impossible to make out, as they appear too small.
.....Some will say that this article is too much about packet boats, and not enough about post cards. To this I would say that the true collector can not separate interest in details of his specialty from the subject of post cards. The best dealers from whom to obtain post cards of this specialty are the dealers in old cards for obvious reasons. Those who have supplied me with the most cards are: ..The Switzer Card Service, 46 Langdon Ave., Water town 72, Massachusetts; and L. W. Pain, 24 Stephen St., Albany 2, New York.
.....The author would be glad to exchange any type of post card including those of his specialty for post cards and photographs of the type of river steamboat explained above. He is not interested in collecting any other type of post card. Please write first.

..................................................James E. York
.......................................................1102 Twenty-third St.
............................................................Portsmouth, Ohio

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