P-43: Menzo Van Esveldt Steamboat Engravings | UMSL

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P-43: Menzo Van Esveldt Steamboat Engravings

ABSTRACT: The Menzo van Esveldt Steamboat Engravings Collection consists of five steel engravings prints of river steamers: The J.M. WHITE, ROBERT E. LEE and NATCHEZ race, the ISLAND QUEEN, the CITY OF SAINT LOUIS, and the SPRAGUE, with tow. The collection also contains commentary written by Frederick Way, author of Way's Packet Directory, 1848-1983, about each of the boats in the engravings.

CREATOR - ARTIST: van Esveldt, Menzo, 1896-1985

DATE: ca. 1935

SCOPE: The collection consists of five steel engraving prints and related correspondence by Frederick Way regarding each boat in the prints. Each print has a signature by Menzo Van Esveldt in the lower right-hand corner of the print, and the title of the print in the lower left-hand corner. The "Excursion Steamer Island Queen" print was based off of the photography of Richard L. Hunster, a prolific Cincinnati photographer of steamboats.

EXTENT: 5 prints and associated commentary.

ACCESS: This is collection P-043. This collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the collection may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, depending on condition. Researchers are advised to call ahead concerning changes in hours due to University intersessions and holidays. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building. More information about conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page.

Preferred Citation note: The preferred citation for this collection is "From the collections of the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.”



Biographical note

Dutch artist Menzo van Esveldt was born in Amsterdam, but emmigrated to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1920. Menzo married Gertrude Van Zanten (1896 - 1984), and they eventually moved to Missouri.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

This collection was donated to the Library in January, 2013 in the memory of Hilma Hohrath Woodward and Vernon Woodward.

Born in 1904 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and raised in Staten Island, New York, Hilma Hohrath was the child of German immigrants. After briefly teaching in New York City, she earned her B.A. from Cornell University in 1927. A devoted mother, she also loved and created beautiful things, and through her teaching of crafts enabled others to do the same. She died in 2004.

Vernon Woodward was born in 1906 in Kansas City, Missouri. He was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He earned a B.A. in economics from Cornell University in 1927 and became, like others in his family, a life-long employee of Procter and Gamble. He was fascinated by the riverboats, lake boats and trains of his era. He was an avid woodworker and also held statewide office in Kiwanis International. Vernon died in 1960.

Location note

Map / Print Drawer A-1

Controlled Access Headings


  • River steamers

  • Steamboats

Collection Inventory

Van Esveldt, Menzo. Excursion Steamer Island Queen. 

Van Esveldt, Menzo. Steamer Sprauge and Tow. 

Van Esveldt, Menzo. Mississippi River Side Wheeler. City of St. Louis. 

Van Esveldt, Menzo. Famous Race between Robert E. Lee and Natchez. 

Van Esveldt, Menzo. The Steamer J. M. White. 

Way, Jr. Frederick. The Steamer J. M. White. 

Way, Jr. Frederick. Island Queen. 

Way, Jr. Frederick. City of St. Louis. 

Way, Jr. Frederick. Towboat Sprague. 

Way, Jr. Frederick. A Famous River Race.