Pott Library Art and Artifacts

In addition to books and archival materials, the Pott Library also has a robust art collection, including prints, drawings, paintings, models and inland waterways related artifacts.
Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library
Bell Mop From Golden Eagle
This is believed to be one of the only surviving intact bell mops. These unique objects hung in the boiler rooms of steamboats for workers to wipe grease off their hands. Bell mops were used until so filthy with coal dust and oils, they were thrown into the river, never to be seen again. This mop survived thanks to beloved river historian Ruth Ferris, who made a habit of preserving river history by collecting memorabilia like this. A tradition developed on the Mississippi River for engineers and their assistants to craft decorative macramé hangers for their bell mops. Crews competed between boats to create the most elaborate pieces. This example, which is on display in the Pott Curator's office, hung in the boiler room of the steamer Golden Eagle. ca. 1940. Made of cord, knotted, plaited, and painted.
Packet Keystone State
Mississippi - Ohio River sidewheeler. The KEYSTONE STATE first was built in Freedom, PA in 1850. She ran 337 tons and had hull measurements of 234' x 26' x 5.7'. She originally ran in the Pittsburgh - Cincinnati trade and later in the St. Louis - New Orleans trade. She was destroyed by fire at Florence, Il on May 31, 1855. The image bears a possible signature of "A Dave" or "A. Dare" which is transcribed on one of the parcels on the main deck, just in front of the stacks., Graphite drawing on paper, undated, c. 1852. Paper size, 5 9/16 x 14 1/2" (140 x 368 mm).
Steamer May Bryan!
This time table will be in force June 1st, 1885, until October 1st, 1885. There will be no ferrying done with skiff excepting on Sunday, unless some accident on account of boat. Will run until sundown, if called for. Washington Ferry Co. Frank Hoelscher, Master.
Large two-page spread of the Steamer Sultana that originally appeared in Ballou's Pictorial Drawing Room Companion, circa 1856. The image has the caption, "Steamer Wooding Up on the Mississippi River."
Table of Distances on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and Navigable Tributaries
Printed at Kennedys Franklin House, Third Street Opposite the Post Office, 1851. Chart of distances broken down by river and tributary. "This Chart has been the result of much labor, time and trouble, and is confidently presented to the public as containing the most correct River Distances yet published. It has been carefully compiled from Congressional Documents, and other reliable sources. The Slackwaters are from the published surveys of Companies which constructed them upon the various streams alluded to. The Ohio is from the last survey of the U. S. Topographical Engineers, and it will be seen that it is much shorter than the opinion generally held by river men and others who have travelled upon it -- disagreeing in this respect with many published works, no two of which agree.", Pencil ownership of G. W. Jacobs St. Louis, MO June 16th on inside of folder.

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