Samuel Ward Stanton (1870-1912) was a historian and artist who focused his work on American steam vessels. He was born in Newburgh, New York. At age eighteen, he began reporting for the Seaboard Magazine, the successor of the weekly Nautical Gazette, founded in 1871.
His first drawings reproduced in the magazine were of scenes along the Eerie Canal, followed by views of American shipyards and by the individual ship portraits that gave him fame. The majority of the full page drawings were exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, 1893, where Stanton received a medal and diploma, which read, “A very finely executed and interesting collection of drawings which show with great skill and cleverness various types of war ships, mercantile ocean steamers, lake and river steamers and yachts. They are of general interest and show artistic merit and historical technical value.”
Samuel Ward Stanton was an associate member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and in 1909, he served as an aid to the Committee for the Hudson-Fulton Celebration. Stanton produced more than 1,000 images, primarily ink on paper, but some oils, of steamships from the northeast and great lakes regions. American Steam Vessels, published in 1895, is the single finest source of information for many of the ships he drew. In 1912, Stanton was returning home from studying at the Julien Academy in Paris and a visit to the Alhambra in Spain in preparation for mural work for the new Hudson River steamer, Washington Irving. On Wednesday April 10, 1912, Stanton boarded the Titanic at Southhampton, England bound for New York City. Like so many others aboard, Stanton died at sea after the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank.
Click on the images below from American Steam Vessels for a closer look.
Additional Resources on Samuel Ward Stanton
4 ( Grades: K-12 ): Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures