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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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High Water: 1903

High Water: 1903

"Loading steamer Chalmette during high water, March 23, 1903, New Orleans." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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The contents of the steamship may have been similar to the steamship Arabia's cargo - everything from pickles to dishes to prefab houses.

Mean manual labor

When I look at all those stevedores making a beeline over that gangway I come to think that container ships may be much more boring to look at than those paddle steamers of yore. But I guess they are much more fun to load and unload.

One year later she was gone

The "Chalmette" was originally named "The City of Vicksburg", which was wrecked by a cyclone in the harbor of St. Louis. In 1898 she was rebuilt and renamed "The Chalmette". In her life on the river, she was the victim of many small accidents such as breaking of chains or timbers. Finally on July 12, 1904 she hit "a snag" and sank, taking with her her cargo valued at the time at $30,000. There were approximately 40 people on board at the time, but were no fatalities.

Grand Picture

Like a scene out of Show Boat. Wonderful

Spot, the dog

Or spot the dog. Can you see it?

I have a half-baked theory that dogs disappeared from city streets when automobiles became prevalent.

I developed the theory from my unscientific study of Shorpy photos.

If only we could know the cargo

As a former merchant seaman, I can't imagine lading a ship like that, much less navigating it on the Mississippi. Oh, if only we could know the contents. Cotton for sure, but letters to loved ones, heirlooms, fish and crabs and oysters, maybe some fruit. Much more romantic than a tug and integrated barge full of anhydrous ammonia.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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