"Remarkable not only for the history told here, not only for the archaeological documentation of a Missouri River steamboat wreck, but for the masterful manner in which Corbin and Rodgers have melded history and archaeology."--Douglas D. Scott, Nebraska Wesleyan University
"A definitive landmark book on the role of an often misunderstood American icon, the Western River steamboat, in the opening of the West. Corbin and Rodgers have masterfully told the story of the steamer Montana and woven it into the fabric of western development, national growth, and the role of technology and entrepreneurs."--James P. Delgado, Institute of Nautical Archaeology
The Montana was a shining example of modern design and technological sophistication when it made its maiden voyage in 1879. But it is remembered for its ironic end: only five years after it was launched, the Montana struck a railroad bridge near Bridgeton, Missouri, and sank.
One of the largest stern-wheel vessels ever to navigate a western river, the Montana was built to compete with railroads. The recent archaeological excavation of its wreckage, combined with a wealth of written and visual material documenting its construction and use, offers fascinating insights into a little-known aspect of Western expansion.
Annalies Corbin is the executive director of the PAST. Bradley A. Rodgers is professor of nautical archaeology at East Carolina University.
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"The Steamboat Montana is a volume that, in the best spirit of the phase, seems to hark back to another age. Like the vessel itself, the book is a joy to the senses- elegantly written, handsomely type-set, and expertly printed and bound. The entire book, and the project underlying it, is an essay on the right people asking the right questions at the right site at the right time."
--Nautical Research Journal
"Valuable contribution to the growing body of literature on a subject that is important to our understanding of how such vessels as the Montana were constructed and how they worked
--The Magazine of Western History
“Corbin and Rodgers do an exceptional job explaining how western river steamboats functioned during the late 1870s.”
--Journal of Maritime Archaeology