Historic Boats Mid-Century Modern Riverfront

S.S. Admiral on the River in the 1940s

by Michael R. Allen

This photograph depicts the S.S. Admiral cruising the Mississippi River in the early 1940s, not long after its reconstruction.  Built first in 1907 as the S.S. Albatross, the rechristened Admiral had a capacity of 4,400 passengers and a palatial ball room on its five decks.  Streckfus Steamers commissioned fashion designer and illustrator Maizie Krebs to design the streamline, art deco-influenced superstructure.  Reconstruction cost $1 million and took place between 1938 and 1940. The Admiral has not cruised since its engines were removed in 1979.

Photograph from the Preservation Research Office Collection.

2 replies on “S.S. Admiral on the River in the 1940s”

Probably the coolest and most stylish of vessels ever seen to ply ANY of the world’s major rivers. I still find it hard to comprehend that she is thisclose to the scrap heap. Her fate was probably sealed when the hull corrosion was first discovered, and then the engines were removed. Would probably cost upwards of 20-30millionUSD to get her into the condition she was when she was rededicated as the “Admiral”. Fare thee well, Admiral.

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