Their whistles have long fallen silent. The smokes from their funnels are no more. Yet, the charm of steamboats that inspired such wonderful songs as Steamboat Bill and Lazy ‘Sippi Steamer lives on in old postcards. Some of these postcards, like the ones pictured below, are more than a century old but the beauty of the steamers they depict still shines through.

The vast reach of plank wharves remained unchanged, and there were as many ships as ever: but the long array of steamboats had vanished; not altogether, of course, but not much of it was left.

— Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

Click on the images to magnify them.

Excursion Boats At The Foot Of Jackson Street
Postcard from 1909
Courtesy of Joe Haupt on Flickr
Creative Commons CC BY 2.0 licence

SS Eastland
Postcard from 1909
Courtesy of Digital Transportation Archive / Internet Archive

Steamboat Norrtelje
Postcard from 1900
Courtesy of DigitaltMuseum, Norway/Sweden

Steamer Columbia
Postcard from circa 1908
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Steamer City of Mackinac in Sainte Claire canal
Postcard from circa 1912
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Burma — Waiting for the Steamer
Postcard from 1903
Artwork by Robert Talbot Kelly (English, 1861–1934)
Courtesy of The Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois

Through Lake Baikal, Russia
Postcard from 1899
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Steamer City of Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida
Postcard from 1906
Courtesy of University of North Florida Digital Commons

Watching the pelicans from steamers Favorite and Manatee – Saint Petersburg, Florida
Postcard from circa 1914
Courtesy of the State Library and Archives of Florida

~ Barista Uno

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