NARRATOR: This Indiana Bicentennial Minute is made possible by the Indiana Historical Society and the law firm of Krieg Devault.
A series of images depict different scenes of riverboats on the water, some are moving down the river using a giant water wheel on at the rear of the boats to propel them, while others are pulling into port.
JANE PAULEY: When the steamboat New Orleans came down the Ohio River in 1811 Hoosiers in Madison mistook the noise for an Indian attack. But by midcentury thousands of steamboats were plying the Ohio and Wabash rivers and steamboat companies raced to offer every luxury, Persian rugs, crystal chandeliers, and separate parlors for women and men, where ladies could sew and gossip and men could drink, gamble, and gossip. Lining the steamboats were private cabins named after the states, they’ve been staterooms ever since.
Photographs of the steamboats’ interiors show colorful Persian rugs, and large crystal chandeliers, and two large parlors, one filled with women and the other with men.
JANE PAULEY: Steamboat whistles could be heard for miles down our rivers. Faster transportation replaced steamboats but they are still a part of our river heritage today.
Text on the screen reads visit indianahistory.org for more information, with an image of a steamboat in the background.
JANE PAULEY: I’m Jane Pauley with this Indiana Bicentennial Minute.
NARRATOR: Made possible by the Indiana Historical Society and the law firm of Krieg Devault.