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Howard Steamboat Museum collection

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1986_090-PA

Content Description

1465 glass plate negatives (8 x 10 inch, 5 x 7 inch and 4 x 5 inches); flexible film negatives. Photographs show construction progress on boats built at Howard Ship Yards, Howard family, other scenes. (Permanent loan). Established in 1847, the Howard Shipyards in Jeffersonville, Indiana, built a total of 1,123 hulls for steam packets, ferries, and, finally, diesel-powered towboats. Captain James E. Howard, who headed the firm from 1916 to 1942, photographed many of these boats. Captain Howard’s negatives were originally housed in the Howard Steamboat Museum, located in the Howard home, but were extensively damaged in a fire there in the 1960s. After cleaning and resleeving, the negatives were housed in the Lin Caufield Studio, Louisville, for safekeeping until they came to the Photographic Archives in 1986 as a permanent loan. The negatives document the construction of boats at the Howard yard from the Natchez (1868), the Robert E. Lee (1876) and the J. M. White (1878) through the end of the packet boat era and beyond. Howard-built boats are inventoried in Way's Packet Directory, 1848-1983: Passenger Steamboats of the Mississippi River System (1983).

Acquisition Type


Restrictions Apply



1465 negatives (90 boxes)