Georgetown Time Machine: Steamboat Bartholdi

This week for Georgetown Time Machine, GM is checking out a postcard again. The postcard comes from an Ebay listing. It shows the steamboat Bartholdi plying the Potomac.

The back of the postcard offers a bit more information:

The small notes indicate that the card is actually only from 1977. The credits say: “The steam launch Bartholdi on the Potomac River near Georgetown College, ca. 1900. (Courtesy of the D.C. Public Library, Washingtonia Division)”

This is not the first time GM has discussed a boat named Bartholdi. Last year he discussed the Bartholdi powerboat, that ran on the canal:

The boats appear to be different, as you would expect, since canal boat and river boats had different jobs. (For one, a river boat would probably have too deep a hull to ride in the canal.) In fact, in GM’s previous article, a source specifically discusses the fact that there was another boat at the time also called the Bartholdi.

Here’s a listing from 1895, advertising the steamer’s availability for charter:

In 1912, the steamer Bartholdi was overhauled:

No word on what happened to the steamer Bartholdi.

Why multiple boats named Batholdi? GM’s guess would be that they were both named after Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty. That landmark was completed in 1886, around the time of the first mention that GM could find of the steamer.


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3 responses to “Georgetown Time Machine: Steamboat Bartholdi

  1. Thomas Neale

    In the first photo, the Glen Echo streetcar line trestle seems to be evident on the far left of the card, below Georgetown’s campus.

  2. Topher

    I think that’s right. What I couldn’t figure out was what the larger trestle closer to the water is. At first I thought it was the aqueduct bridge, but the angles don’t line up; it appears to be parallel with the shore. I don’t think the rail lines came in on a trestle like that, but perhaps they did at some point?

  3. This photo has me confused. If that is the streetcar trestle bridge, where is the car barn? Where is EDEN Southworth’s house? Should we not see row houses running north on 37th St by the late 1890s? Not to mention, what the heck is the long trestle bridge literally in the river? I’m having trouble reconciling this photo with this 1890 photo taken from Healy Hall.

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