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Way's Packet Directory 1848-1994: Passenger Steamboats of the Mississippi River System since the Advent of Photography in Mid-Continent America Paperback – February 15, 1995


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Way's Packet Directory 1848-1994: Passenger Steamboats of the Mississippi River System since the Advent of Photography in Mid-Continent America + The Mississippi Steamboat Era in Historic Photographs: Natchez to New Orleans, 1870–1920 + Historic Photos of Steamboats on the Mississippi
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 643 pages
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press; 1 edition (February 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821411063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821411063
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.8 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #984,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is not a reading book, but rather a reference work. Even so, the marvelous introduction, the lengthy captions in the photo collection, and the various letters and special notes in the boat bios are captivating and enlightening.”

Seaways‘ Ships in Scale magazine


“The 620-page book attempts to list the history of every packet that traveled the Mississippi River system from 1848 to the present. … The book is a 69-year labor of love. … Fred Way is the world’s foremost authority on river life.”

The Marietta Times


“History scholars, steamboat researchers, genealogists and countless others will rejoice in the long-awaited … revision of Way’s Packet Directory. This is the most comprehensive treatment yet attempted of 19th- and 20th-century steamboats.”

The Courier-Journal

About the Author

Captain Frederick Way, Jr., was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, in 1902, and grew up in the adjacent village of Edgeworth near the Ohio River. Early on, he became fascinated with steamboats, and particularly with the freight-passenger packets still prominent on the river in the early 1900s.

While he was attending the University of Cincinnati, the “call of the river” caused Fred Way to leave after one year to take up the life of a riverman, and from 1925 until 1932 he operated the packet Betsy Ann between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, becoming a licensed pilot and master. In the early months of the Great Depression, he lost his boat, and shortly after he began to write the story of the seven-year struggle to operate a packetboat in Log of the Betsy Ann, the first of his many publications.

Captain Way was also the originator and publisher for thirty-two years of the Inland River Record, an annual compilation of boats operating on inland waters. And in 1983 he compiled Way’s Packet Directory, 1848–1983: Passenger Steamboats of the Mississippi River System since the Advent of Photography in Mid-Continent America, one of the seven books he wrote on American rivers and the history of steamboats and their crews, and subsequently revised with a new foreword by Joseph W. Rutter.

From 1941 until his death, Captain Way was president of the Sons & Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen, an ongoing association dedicated to preserving the history of Western rivers. Captain Way died at his home in Marietta, Ohio, in October 1992.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By G. Rule on March 22, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Way's is an almost staggering achievement. Mr. Way (now deceased) spent approx. 80 years of his life collecting this information. There isn't any other source that comes close to Way's if you need to know about steamboats on the Western Waters (Pittsburgh westwards).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nancy J. Dickison on February 24, 2007
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This is a very comprehensive listing of steamboats, where they were built, their size, who was Captain if known, etc. It also includes some, but not a lot, very nice photographs of steamboats. The only drawback is that the index is not comprehensive. My gg grandfather had only two listings in the index by his name, but he was actually mentioned in one additional listing for a total of three. So a bit of due diligence is required.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BJJ on September 21, 2009
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Whether you are a river historian or genealogist whose ancestors traveled on the rivers, Way's is bound to be of help in your research. Listed in alphabetical order by name of the steamboats, each entry tells when and where the steamboats were built, names of captains, clerks and owners plus, in some cases, what happened to the steamboats. I am especially interested in steamers on the Ohio River and this book has been very helpful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. McCulloch on October 22, 2009
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Mr. Way has done so much to preserve the history of the steamboats on the rivers of the USA. I am currently writing a book on steamboats, and have found Way's books very helpful. The boats are such a great part of our country's history. I believe in preserving history for our younger generations.
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