A coastal excursion steamer with hull lines that cross between those of an ocean-going tug and a sternwheel riverboat, the FAVORITE makes her way steadily within Greater New York waters. A swarm of passengers -she’s listed as having a capacity of 500 - are enjoying the voyage and the view aboard the New York Steamship as she carries them home from an outing. It’s possible they’re returning from watching one of the period’s yacht races, headed back from the courses off Newport, Rhode Island, the defacto yachting capital of America and home of the New York Yacht Club’s satellite office.
This portrait shows the large dual-propeller-driven steamship in its 129.9'L x 29.7'B x 9.6'D dimensions in a proper broadside. First owned by the Favorite Transportation Co. of Tompkins Cove, New York, the ship was built in 1894 by H.J. Rodermond, complete with a pilot house eagle atop the helm cabin. The numerous windows to the passenger salons are all curtained, and most of the people are dressed in the warm dark wools of a New York fall, are on deck to watch the action. Several hundred New Yorkers of Greek descent chartered FAVORITE to meet the first naval warship of their former country, the NAVARCHOS MIAULIS, a 175' sailing bark, on Sept. 27, 1900.
The artist has portrayed the white-hulled steamer churning ahead as a stiff headwind pushes the flags and scant smoke, overall in the of Hudson River folk artist James Bard. FAVORITE would sail for Florida in 1906, and owned by F.A. Davis and then H. Walter Fuller of St. Petersburg, she became the social center of the port city. People would gather aboard her to voyage and to socially visit each other onboard while she was tethered to the new 3,000 foot long pier.
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