About Me

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beautiful Steamboats

(Courtesy of Richard Bowker)
I think it was western film director John Ford who said that a moving train was the most visually interesting thing to watch on motion picture film. In my research for Images of America: Rock Springs Park, I came to believe that steam paddleboats have the same effect in still pictures.

It may be somewhat ironic, in a book about an amusement park, that my favorite images are of the stern-wheel steamers which carried pleasure-seekers from Pittsburgh and Wheeling to the park.

In the photograph above, the Homer Smith awaits passengers along the Mon Wharf in Pittsburgh in 1928.

A series of these photographs are shown in the book. One with the skyline of Pittsburgh under construction and one with the Homer Smith adorned with a banner reading, "All Day Excursion to Rock Springs Park."

The smokestacks on the upper deck could be tipped backwards to allow passage beneath certain bridges.

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