In 2004 the Steamship Historical Society of America produced the documentary film, "Steamboats: On the Hudson." Featuring footage from rarely seen private collections and from public archives, including scenes of the famous Robert Fulton, the last Hudson steamboat powered by a walking-beam engine. Historian Roger Mabie of Port Ewen contributes his first-hand knowledge of Hudson River steamboat history, and noted steam expert Conrad Milster offers perspective on the machinery that drove the era. The film also features Hudson River Maritime Museum Curator Emerita, Allynne Lange.
In April, 2020, the Steamship Historical Society of America shared this documentary film on their YouTube channel, which allows us to share it with you!
For over 150 years steamboats ruled the Hudson River, carrying passengers and freight between Albany and New York, and the many river communities in between. This program looks back at the golden age of steam, when spit and polish, and elegant surroundings marked a style of travel that has now disappeared.
The Hudson is where steam navigation began, and it is where the American river steamer reached its ultimate expression, with enormous paddle-wheeled vessels carrying over 5,000 passengers.
Featuring still photographs, historic film footage, and interviews, "Steamboats: On the Hudson" documents the evolution of steam vessels on the Hudson, from the early 1800s up to the final trip of the steamer Alexander Hamilton in 1971.
We hope you enjoy this engaging and informative documentary film.
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This blog is written by Hudson River Maritime Museum staff, volunteers and guest contributors.
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