S.S. Potomac

Steamer Potomac
The Steamboat S.S. Potomac, an excursion steamer out of Washington, D.C. from 1934 to 1948.


Potomac was formerly the S.S. Albany of the Hudson River Day Line, but was purchased by B. B. Wills who owned and operated the Potomac River Line out of Washington, D.C.  Note the peculiar profile with three stacks athwartship and the walking beam.  Most of the "newer" steamboats did not use the walking beam system to drive the paddlewheels.  Potomac was built in 1880 by Harlan & Hollingsworth Corp. of Wilmington, DE.  She was originally coal fired, but was converted to oil by Wills following his purchase.  The vessel was propelled by a single verticle beam engine of 3,200 IHP powered by three W&A Fletcher Co. Scotch boilers working at 55 PSI.  Potomac was in service as an excursion steamer until 1948, and was cut down to her iron hull in 1950 and converted to a pulpwood barge for the Chesapeake Corporation of West Point, VA.

Although Potomac is long gone, her walking beam can be seen at the Mariners Museum in Newport News, VA.

Ship Built Hull GRT Length Beam Comments
Potomac 1880 181 1,415 314' 40' Side wheel steamer. 3,200 horsepower single cylinder reciprocating steam engine. Broken up in 1950, hull used as barge.

Fire Flat
Fire flat on S.S. Potomac, c.1939.

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Created by A. Davis Whittaker, Jr.
Last updated on 21 February 2005.