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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Two Belles: 1906

Two Belles: 1906

The Mississippi River circa 1906. "Steamboat landing at Vicksburg. Sternwheeler Belle of Calhoun and sidewheeler Belle of the Bends." Our second look at these river packets. Detroit Publishing Company glass negative. View full size.

 

The quick and the dead?

Is that far left ship beached or swamped? It's deck looks too steep to still be afloat.

The levee today

The Vicksburg levee today, anchored to the south by a casino "boat."

The life of a Belle.

The Belle of Calhoun was a 181-foot sternwheeler built at Carondelet, Illinois, in 1895. Named for Miss Anna Wood, who was crowned the Belle of Calhoun County, Illinois. Sank three times in her career, finally burned at Alton in the winter of 1930-1931.

Belle of the Bends was a 210-foot sidewheeler. Built in 1898 at the Howard Yard in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Converted to an excursion boat at Cairo and renamed Liberty circa 1918. Dismantled in October 1919.

Very cool

It's amazing how close to the shore these boats came to the shore. How deep could the water be? 10 feet? Then the boats further down the shore look like they are landed right up on the beach. Great photo of the old American industrial machine working.

Delta Queen

I live in Louisiana and my mom used to paint oils of these old paddle wheelers. Her friends used to call her "Delta Queen" for her love of these old vessels. Thanks for the memories! Her paintings were right on!

Waiting for some automation!

Really brings home the feeling of,
"Tote dat barge, Lift dat bale!"

A picture is worth

... a thousand words, but this one is worth at least a dozen pictures. An amazing photo from which can be extracted a multitude of wonderful stand-alone shots.

Such as:

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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