The Steamboat and Popular Tourism

This article discusses the role of the steamboat and popular tourism. The authors argue that the case of the railway in promoting popular recreational traveling, introducing excursions, and encouraging resort development has been overemphasized and in some instances wrongly credited with a pioneering role. The authors maintain that that role was, in fact, played by the steamboat. The article begins with a description of the features and characteristics of the steamboat that led it to have such an impact on popular passenger traffic. This is followed by a series of regional surveys of steamboat activity that focus on excursions and recreational use (primarily major ports), from 1812 through the end of the century. The authors caution that coverage varies, as primary source material relating to excursions and seasonal services is ephemeral, with a low survival rate. A final section summarizes the steamboat's innovative role in the provision and organization of leisure travel and popular tourism. In addition, in promoting popular travel after 1815, the steamboat set in motion the practice of popular guidebook publishing and use.

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  • Authors:
    • Armstrong, John
    • Williams, David M
  • Publication Date: 2005-3


  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01001108
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 23 2005 12:40PM