The 200th anniversary of the first steamboat voyage down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers is noted by Rich Bottles Jr. in the latest issue of PATCO Journal, the official journal of the Pennsylvania Area Token Collectors Organization.
Bottles explains that the bicentennial anniversary of the trip from Pittsburgh to New Orleans in October 1811 is passing unrecognized, but such was not the case for the centennial, when the event received widespread publicity.
Bottles notes that in October 1911, Capt. James A. Henderson completed work in an Elizabeth, Pa., shipyard of a replica of the side-wheel steamboat New Orleans. On Nov. 2, 1911, Henderson replicated the original, 1811, maiden voyage of the steamboat, but this time, the New Orleans was trailed down the Ohio River by 47 other steamboats rather than steaming solely.
The original New Orleans was designed by Robert Fulton in a joint venture with Robert R. Livingston and Nicholas Roosevelt, the latter of whom built the vessel. Roosevelt’s wife, the former Lydia Latrobe, was the daughter of U.S. Capitol architect Benjamin H. Latrobe.
Bottles writes that the centennial was celebrated numismatically in 1911 with elongated coins that feature an image of Henderson’s replica steamboat and hail the Oct. 20, 1811, date of the original Pittsburgh launch.
Annual PATCO dues for regular membership are $5, which entitles members to receive the “sporadic” PATCO Journal and to submit a free 30-word classified ad for each issue. An associate membership, with no journal, is available for $3; membership for juniors under age 18 costs $3; and a life membership costs $100.
Inquiries and dues should be directed to PATCO’s secretary-treasurer, Jim Hartman, at Box 1702, Beaver Falls, PA 15010. ■