White Swan, 1924 - The largest Mississippi River steamboat never built
In Sept., 1924 Ward Engineering produced a set of preliminary drawings for a mammoth 450 ft.
long 97 ft. beam sidewheel steamer, designed to operate between St. Louis and New Orleans. Had
she been built, the White Swan would have been about thirty feet longer than the Delta Queen
Steamboat Company's big American Queen. She was by far the largest steamboat ever designed for
Mississippi river service. It is not known for whom these drawings were produced, or why. The
only clue appears on the title block - "For the Reid Steamboat Co."
There are three sheets: A side elevation and main deck plan and a second sheet of deck plans
drawn to 1/16'' = 1'. A third sheet drawn to 1/2'' = 1' shows typical cabin layouts. There are
no hull lines, but the main deck plan shows the outlines of the top, bottom and waterline of
the hull. With these plans, an experienced ship modeler could construct a reasonably accurate
replica of this never built wonder. Historians and transportation buffs will enjoy musing over
these plans and speculating about how she would have looked and handled. Model size: 31''
overall by 6'' beam.