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Steamer Albany
Steamer Albany

Albany, photograph, 1882
(William B. Elmendorf Papers – SC11970, Box 3, Folder 1)

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Steamer New York
Steamer New York

New York, photograph, ca. 1890s
(William B. Elmendorf Papers – SC11970, Box 3, Folder 3)

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Steamers Albany and New York

In the 1880s the Day Line, in order to better promote its business, felt that it needed to upgrade its fleet with new boats that were not only larger and faster, but also more elegant in appearance and décor. The Day Line introduced the Albany in 1880 and the New York in 1887.

These two new steamers, built on iron hulls 300 feet in length, could accommodate 1,500 passengers and claimed to be the fastest steamboats in the world. They were built exclusively for carrying passengers, and were said to be the finest boats ever constructed for the business. The Day Line advertisements emphasized that it was “strictly first-class – no freight.” 

These boats featured spacious cabins finished in highly polished woods; they were handsomely paneled, luxuriously furnished and adorned with statuary and paintings by celebrated artists. The dining rooms were on the main deck, where the traveler could enjoy an excellent dinner, which was served on the European plan, and lose nothing of the view of the most charming of American rivers.