The 1800’s saw the emergence of steam ships as a viable means of transportation. This wonderful Currier & Ives lithograph, The Mississippi in Time of Peace, not only captures the romance of the Mississippi River on a warm summer’s evening, but also shows a variety of ships that frequented its waters at the time, which was post Civil War or late 1860’s, when there was finally peace upon the river.
The steam ship is shown here with the large fly wheel at the center of the boat. These steamboats have a luxurious look to them and are probably the famous Mississippi River gambling boats. Passengers traveling from Pittsburgh to St. Louis or other ports on the river, could enjoy a state room, play cards in the onboard casinos, watch live entertainment, and view the river from the decks. This was a pleasant way for people to travel and enjoy an entertaining vacation at the same time.
In contrast, the flatboats and keelboats on the river, represent the down-home or backwoods traveler transporting goods for livelihood, as was also common at the time. This Currier & Ives lithograph has immortalized not only a beautiful American scene, but also created a snapshot of American sailing or shipping history.
The lithograph, The Mississippi in Time of Peace is a great, unique gift for that sailor in your family that is so hard to buy for! It is also available in print as part of the Vintage American Scenes Wall Calendar at our Zazzle Store.