The Albany Institute of History & Art will host local historian J. Thomas Allison for a lecture about his book Hudson River Steamboat Catastrophes: Contests and Collisions. The lecture will be followed by a book signing. Allison will provide an entertaining look at the romantic but perilous age of steamboat travel on the Hudson River, including tales of reckless captains racing each other and passengers’ eyewitness accounts of collisions, crashes, explosions, and fires.
Hudson River Steamboat Catastrophes: Contests and Collisions focuses on nineteenth-century steamboat travel on the Hudson River. It points out that a crowded river, unreliable boat equipment, and the audacity of some steamboat captains created yearly catastrophes that put passengers and vessels at risk. Researched through eyewitness accounts, the stories are both exciting and frightening and give a real sense of the danger that traveled on the Hudson River.
Allison has had interest in history ever since he was a boy and was a key factor in starting the “Victorian Cultural League” of Albany in 1982. The league is an informal social group of people interested in things and places of the 19th century. The group covers everything from the 19th century including cookbooks, dining rooms, eating practices, plumbing, and steamship travel. Allison is also a member of local historical societies and is an active member of the Friends of Schuyler Mansion.
This event is organized by the Museum Shop at the Albany Institute of History & Art and is free with museum admission. Copies of Allison’s book will be available to purchase at the event.
The Albany Institute of History & Art is located at 125 Washington Avenue in Albany, New York on Sunday, March 16 at 2PM. The museum is open Wednesday 10AM-5PM, Thursday 10AM-8PM*, Friday 10AM-5PM, Saturday 10AM-5PM, Sunday Noon-5PM. On Tuesdays, the museum is open to registered groups only. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission is free for Institute members; $10/adults; $8/seniors and students with ID; $6/children 6–12; FREE/children under 6. *The Institute is now open for FREE on Thursdays from 5PM-8PM. For more information, visit www.albanyinstitute.org or call (518) 463-4478.