Men of the Inland Rivers: Interviews from the Age of Steamboats, Packets and Towboats (Paperback)
During the 1800s Americans developed the foundation for commerce and future economic growth. Steamboats were what drove American commerce in the 1800s and into the early 1900s until the 1950s when steamboats were no longer profitable. Boats in the inland rivers transported everything: lumber, oil for lamps, coal, cotton, and every type of farm animal and crop. Steamboats carried mail, and at a time before radio, TV, and movies, they provided entertainment. In the 1950s John Knoepfle set about interviewing some seventy workers who had spent their lives on steamboats, packets and towboats. They were captains, pilots, boat owners, show boaters, night watchmen, mates, roustabouts, lock masters, packet cooks, among others. As told in their own words, this is the true story of steamboating. This is an important and authentic part of American history.