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Peerless Vicksburg: 1909

Peerless Vicksburg: 1909

The Mississippi River circa 1909. "Vicksburg waterfront and sternwheeler Peerless." A segment from an alternate version of the panorama posted here yesterday. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

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The Falls City

Another view of the Falls City.

Packet Steamer Peerless

The packet steamboat Peerless was built in Hermann, Missouri in 1893. She was owned by the Hermann Ferry and Packet Co. and primarily used for passenger trade. she was lighter than many boats with only a 3½ foot draft allowing for operation in shallower waters. Sunk by ice in 1903 but salvaged and continued operations till the 1920s.

Shown below is the Peerless in 1893. The stacks and pilot house match but at that time in her life there were fewer cabins on the second deck and no railings. In 1909 she appears to have four or five private cabins on each side plus another narrow door towards the stern which I'm guessing is the head. The weight of the extra cabins apparently required the addition of the remarkable steel cable rigging holding the whole boat together and the deck flat.

As to the wind-vane, I don't know why it is so large and fancy but a wind indicator would seem a handy aide for piloting river boats. But the smoke belched from their engines was typically a good wind indicator to anyone who learned to read it. Perhaps it's not a swinging vane but just a fixed ornament. Is it a kneeling archer?

Really?

Is that a weathervane on the Peerless?

D.J. Shlenker & Co.

609 Clay Street, view from Mulberry Street, 104 years later. Not only is the painted sign on the brick still there (albeit extremely faded), but also the roofline shadow of the building with the pitched roof set against the right side of the Shlenker building.

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