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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.

© January 2009: John L. Fryant, 7672 Crystal Cove Pointe, Maineville, Ohio 45039-7008, USA