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Image for Burning of the HENRY CLAY near Yonkers.

Burning of the HENRY CLAY near Yonkers.

Bold letters identify this burning steamboat as the 'HENRY CLAY' which caught fire on July 28, 1852 while racing the vessel Armenia. As railroads posed an increasingly competitive threat within the transportation industry, the Henry Clay was one of many steamboats that met disaster while racing to prove its prowess. Pushing these engines to maximum speeds sometimes resulted in tragic furnace fires, like the one shown here.  Screaming faces of men, women, children, and babies bob above the waves or sink beneath. It is reported that about one hundred lives were lost in the disaster.

Date: 1852

Artists: Nathaniel Currier
Date of Artists: American, 1813-1888
Medium: Hand-colored lithograph
Measurements: 14 1/4 x 9 3/4 inches
Access Number: 2004-D03-327
Gift of Lenore B. and Sidney A. Alpert, supplemented with Museum Acquisition Funds

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