Steamboats In Louisiana

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Steamboats In Louisiana

STEAMBOATS IN LOUISIANA



Robert Fulton started the very first commercially successful steamboat service in America.
His steam-powered paddleboat, the Clermont, sailed up the Hudson River from New York City
to Albany in August of 1807. This trip lasted 32 hours

The first steamboats were demonstrated in1787. They were used on the river ways to bring
cargo, cotton, sugar, and people to their destinations. The steamboat played a major part
in the population growth. The steamboats were usually made of wood and were all kinds of
sizes. They looked like giant floating houses with large smokestacks and paddlewheels.
They were used for carrying people and supplies up and down the river.

Steamboats were later used as show boats for entertainment. The purchase of Louisiana in
1803 made New Orleans a part of the U.S. and opened the door to gamblers. The high life so
popular in New Orleans spread north which ushered in the era of the riverboat gambler. By
1820, 69 steamboats were operating the western rivers. And by 1860, that number had
increased to 735. These steamboats were christened "floating palaces with luxurious
quarters, world class food well stoked bars and wealthy passengers. In1937 riverboat
travel entered the passenger boat era.

Calliopes were used on the boats to let people know that the boat was docked. The name
"calliope" comes from the Greek goddess "muse of sound."

The paddle wheels were mounted either on the side or back of the boat. After the Civil
War, the stern (back of the boat) paddle wheel was most popular. Although the paddle wheel
is very large it draws just a few feet of water. The wheel spins about 18 times a minute
with only four planks in the water for best speed. A steamboat travels about 15 miles an
hour and 16 to 17 miles an hour on a swift river.

The very first paddle boats ran on wood. Coal replaced wood in 1860 and oil replaced coal
in 1950. Many of the earl steamboats burned up because the fire used to create the steam
would burn the boat. It took 250 pounds of steam just to blow the whistle.

Maintenance for a 120 ton steamboat was $1,800, 36% of it was for wages paid to officers
and crew members, 18% of it was for provisions, 12% of it was for incidentals and
insurance, and the rest of it was for 25 cords of wood per day, at $2.50 per cord. One of
the most popular steamboats of all time was the Delta Queen. It was designed to
accommodate 234 passengers, 40 automobiles on the main deck, 15 on the outside decks, and
350-400 tons of cargo. The passengers were accommodated in 117 staterooms for two persons
and a large men's dormitory area forward. The vehicles were carried on her restricted
foredeck and also on her maindeck alongside the boilers. The "KEEL BOAT" carries 15 to 20
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