National Archives at Kansas City

Press Release: September 6, 2012

National Archives at Kansas City

Between the Rivers: Steamboating in Missouri and Iowa Exhibit Opens at the National Archives at Kansas City

For More Information Contact:
Dee Harris, 816-268-8086

Kansas City, (MO)… With their roaring engines, belching smokestacks, splashing paddlewheels, and distinctive whistles, steamboats were an awesome power on the river. Come on deck and discover the history of steamboats in a new temporary exhibition, Between the Rivers: Steamboating in Missouri and Iowa, opening September 25.

Between the Rivers explores the steamboat industry and its impact on the river environment, culture, and economy in Missouri and Iowa from the 1850s to the early 1900s. Located between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, the land and people of Missouri and Iowa have long been defined by these two great rivers. Together the rivers and their tributaries opened pathways to exploration, trade, settlement, industry, war, and freedom in the Midwest. But it wasn’t just the river itself that was critical to western development–the invention of the steamboat brought about a revolution in American river commerce as significant as the railroad on land. Long before railroad tracks crisscrossed through the country, the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers served as major thoroughfares of transportation for people and cargo.

The exhibit will feature steamboat architecture and design, life adrift on the rivers, natural and steamboat disasters, government regulation of the industry, navigational improvement of the rivers, and the economic struggle between river and rail.

Between the Rivers opens on September 25 and is available for viewing through April 27, 2013. To schedule a docent-led group or school tour call 816-268-8013 or email mickey.ebert@nara.gov .

The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies. Serving the Central Plains Region, the archives holds records from the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. It is open to the public Tuesday - Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for research, with the exhibits open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 816-268-8000 or visit us online.

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LPM/LE-KC 12-30

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