Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hudson River Line ALBANY c.1880 -The Model / Rex Stewart

                Hudson River Line ALBANY c.1880, Wood Steamboat Model - Rex Stewart

Of the models to leave my studio during the 1980s, ALBANY was one of the most prolific to research and build. A few Albany executives commissioned two versions of ALBANY and these remain in those families today. They are, by professional standards, the most accurate pieces in the Hudson Valley and the only models of its kind anywhere.

          Steamboat ALBANY docked at its Albany, New York pier before her morning run
         to New York City c.1880.

Albany was built at the Harlan and Hollingsworth yard in Wilmington, DE. and lauched there on January 30, 1880. Her hull was iron frame with steel plating. Her engine was built by W and A Fletcher of Hoboken, New Jersey. ALBANY's hull was 295 feet with a beam of 40 feet and a mean draft of hold 11 feet 6 inches.

Unfinished, ALBANY made an engineer's test run May 1880 from New York's W. 42nd Street, north to Yonkers and back. The upbound trip was slightly an hour, but the return trip was a remarkable 37 minutes for an average speed of 25 miles per hour. Two months later on July 30, 1880 the steamboat left New York City for her maiden voyage north to her namesake city.

                               Port Overview - Wood Steamboat Model ALBANY c.1880.

From that date through the 1885 season, her running consorts alternated between the CHAUNCEY VIBBARD of 1864 and the DANIEL DREW of 1860. With the latter destroyed by fire in 1886, the Hudson River Line acquired the sleek looking NEW YORK which ran in line with ALBANY until 1906.

          Samuel Ward Stanton's pen and ink drawing of ALBANY, showing her extended
         saloon deck c.1900.

Within the next ten years many changes were made to ALBANY. Her pilothouse was enlarged in 1885 and three years later her saloon deck was extended forward to the bow - eliminating the beautiful awning that highlighted her appearance. Between February and May of 1893, while at the Hollingsworth Yard, she was lengthened and her radial paddles and fan-shaped paddleboxes were replaced with feathering paddlewheels. Other developments occurred with her cabins and funnels, as these changes would serve as the prototype for the famous Hudson River Day Line Fleet of the 20th Century.

                 Grand Stairway, located behind the funnel system of the stmr. ALBANY.

The 20th century's first 25 years would expand from a two vessel operation to a seven boat organization. This expansion led to various changes and the ALBANY was re-routed to serve the New York City-Poughkeepsie run, being replaced by stmr. HENDRICK HUDSON for the Albany run in 1906.

During the mid-20s, ALBANY became the Day Line's last coal-burning steamer, serving primarily as a secondary vessel for overflowing crowds, charters, and the like. On Labor Day, 1930, she ran from Albany to New York City to close out a service record unsurpassed by any steamer in the modern Day Line fleet. She was later sold to a Maryland businessman , Benjamin Wills, who operated her on the Potomac River as POTOMAC.

The model shown, depicts ALBANY in her 1880 configuration. Painted with period colors, the model is accurately scaled and scratchbuilt in three woods, re: pine, bass, and birch. The scale is 1/8" = 1', with an overall length of 37" inches.

What documentation was available, I applied; assuring an accurate model of the highest quality.

For more information about commissioning a fine quality Hudson River or Northeast steamboat model email: or call 1-774-757-7137. You may also visit Social Share Toolbar

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