Seeking sources/expertise on mind-19th century steam vessels

Jeff Johnson's picture


I'm seeking information on small steamships in the mid-19th century to help me make sense of my sources who refer to the difficulty encountered with one at a crucial scene in my work.

Specifically this is a small river steamer something like 35 feet long brought to Alaska in 1865 from, apparently, New York. The sources refer to a type of engine newly patented. 

I hadn't intended for the boat to figure so prominently in the story, but you just never know about these things. So I'd appreciate any insight or source suggestions.


Jeff Johnson

University of North Georgia



Dear Jeff Johnson,

A classic study in this field is Louis C. Hunter: Steamboats on the Western Rivers: An Economic and Technological History. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1949.

Best wishes

Felix Schürmann