1907. Hardcover. An album of wonderfully composed, sharp silver gelatin photographs printed on thick photographic paper, of steamboat trips by a very talented amateur photographer. These are all original shots: in all there are 99 b&w photographs laid down in the album, usually one but sometimes 2 per page, and most of the Hudson River. Each is dated in ink and numbered on the lower edge.
The photographs were taken in the heyday of the Hudson River steamboats, and the photographer does an impressive job of conveying the sense of the grandeur of the river and the joy of viewing the landscape from the deck of a steamer. From the 1880s on, no important visitor could claim to have seen America without seeing the Hudson River; the only proper way to see the Hudson River was from the deck of a steamer.
There are several impressive steamboat on the Hudson images here, including the 'Sagamore' (no. 57), the 'America', the 'Kingston', the 'Adirondack' and the 'Albany'. In the 1880s the Hudson River Day Line upgraded its fleet, adding bigger and faster boats that were also more elegantly appointed.
The Day Line introduced the 'Albany' (pictured in this album) in 1880. It had an iron hull, measured 300 feet in length, could accommodate 1,500 passengers and claimed to be one of the fastest steamboats in the world. Cabins and common areas were paneled in polished wood, and dining rooms, on the main deck, were adorned by paintings and sculpture by renowned artists.
Photographs number 48 to 96 are Lake Champlain and Hudson River views. This includes 7 wonderful shots of the Poughkeepsie Railway Bridge, which was completed in 1889 and is now a pedestrian walkway with stunning river views, part of the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park. The last 3 of these (nos. 80, 81 & 82) have been made into a folding panorama showing the entire span of the remarkable bridge. Another memorable photograph shows a steamboat passing Break Neck, just north of Cold Spring, NY.
Other images include Toronto Canada; Niagara Falls; several images of a visit to a water's edge home called "Great Elms", at Kingston Point; Cedar Island; the fort at Kingston; several images taken among Thousand Islands; Lake George; Burlington, Vermont; Lake Champlain; Albany, NY; near West Point (89 & 90); Battleships on the Hudson off NY City, and near Grant's Tomb, New York.
Tipped on to the front cover is a color printed route map for Lake George and Thousand Island, along with a brochure from the Delaware & Hudson Co, with a color folding map which extends from Ticonderoga to Lake George. The front cover present with a list of places visited recorded in blue pencil, and signed "Ferd. W. Hahn". His rubber stamp on the verso of a few of the images.
Oblong 8vo, 10 1/2 x 7". String tied card covers, the front cover detached, loosely inserted. Photographs measure generally 3 x 5 3/8" and are captioned with the place and date and initialed by the photographer. These wonderful images are in very good condition. Very good condition. Item #23398