The Hudson River Maritime Museum has thousands of artifacts and ephemera in its collections. On a regular basis, we will be sharing our favorites as part of our new "Featured Artifact" category of the blog.
We have been posting a lot about ice and winter sports here on the History Blog, so it's only apt that our first Featured Artifact is this beautiful piece of ephemera [paper items meant to be thrown away] from the Ray Ruge Collection. Ray was instrumental in reviving the Hudson River Ice Yacht Club in the 1960s and was an avid ice boater. His widow donated his large collection of ice boating history, photographs, ephemera, correspondence, and more to the museum. You'll be seeing more of Ray and his collection in the coming weeks.
This issue of Harper's Weekly (coincidentally ALSO from January 16, although in 1869, rather than 2021) featured "Ice-Boats on the Hudson" on the cover. Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization was a national weekly political magazine published out of New York City between 1857 and 1916. Often beautifully illustrated with lithographs based on photographs, Harper's Weekly chronicled daily life, and many of its illustrations grace the museum's walls.
"Ice-Boats on the Hudson"
The original article, transcribed:
"The ice-yacht is a boat on skates, and is impelled by the wind in the same manner as an ordinary yacht. There has been for some time at Poughkeepsie, in this State, and Ice Yacht Club, modeled after the New York Yacht Club. Thus the frozen waters of the Hudson do not by any means impede the winter navigation of the river; indeed, with a strong wind and upon a smooth surface of ice, one of these ice-boats will attain a speed of one mile per minute, thus outrunning the locomotive, and literally flying with the speed of the wind.
"For several winters a race has been contemplated between these singular yachts; but the condition of the ice has never been favorable at the time agreed upon. Our illustration on this page shows the fleet at Poughkeepsie. This fleet consists of eight boats: the Flying Cloud, owned by IRVING GRINNELL; the Icicle, by JOHN ROOSVELT; the Snow Squall, by THEODORE V. JOHNSTON; the Una, by AARON INNIS; the Flying Dutchman, by THEODORE VAN KLEEK; the Haze, by JOHN JAY INNIS; the Restless, by Commodore O. H. BOOTH; and the Snow Flake, by THOMAS PARISH."
Editor's note - the Icicle is on display at the Hudson River Maritime Museum.
This blog is written by Hudson River Maritime Museum staff, volunteers and guest contributors.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
50 Rondout Landing
Kingston, NY 12401
The Hudson River Maritime Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the maritime history of the Hudson River, its tributaries, and related industries.
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