ABSTRACT: A collection of photographs taken by Julian (Jack) C. Carey while working as a deckhand for Mississippi Valley Barge Lines in the summer of 1968.
SCOPE: This collection captures images of Mississippi Valley Barge Lines boats, operations, and crew, and general river scenes, from the summer of 1968.
EXTENT: 70 photographic slides, color.
HISTORY: Mississippi Valley Barge Lines was a privately owned common carrier founded in St. Louis in 1929. The company ran steam, and later diesel, barges and towboats on the lower Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. In its formative years, a large part of the company’s earnings came from the transportation of sugar from New Orleans to Cincinnati and St. Louis.
The photographs in this collection were taken in the summer of 1968. According to a statement by W.J. Barta, President of the company, at a 1965 congressional hearing, in 1964 the company transported approximately 8,878,000 tons of freight and received gross revenues of approximately 20,500,000. He claimed they were one of the largest carriers on the U.S. inland river system. He also stated they presently operated 18 towing vessels and over 500 cargo-carrying barges.
Julian (Jack) C. Carey was born in East St. Louis in 1942. Throughout his life he worked as a lifeguard, in landscaping, in pawnshops, on Mississippi River barges, and as an English Professor at Bradley University. Ultimately, he maintained a successful private law practice in Belleville, Illinois. Mr. Carey was also an avid avocational photographer. He captured the photographs in this collection while working as a deckhand for Mississippi Valley Barge Lines at the age of 26.
ACCESS: This collection can be viewed on-site in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the material may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition and other access restrictions. Information on conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building on the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ north campus. The entire collection of photographs can be viewed on the UMSL Digital Library as P-092 Mississippi Valley Barge Lines Photograph Collection.
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.”
P-092 Mississippi Valley Barge Lines Photograph Collection Finding Aid