This educational website is made possible by grants from the National Park Service’s National Maritime Heritage Program and the Heritage Harbor Foundation.

Steamships have radically altered the course of history through immigrationtrade, and leisure. This technological advancement began in the early nineteenth century and has had far reaching cultural consequences that continue to this day. This period of transition from sailing to steam-powered vessels, roughly 1809-1909, impacted travel time, reliability, and the movement of goods and people. The transition from sail to steam power is the focus of this educational online repository made possible by grants from the National Park Service’s National Maritime Heritage Program and the Heritage Harbor Foundation. Educators, students, the general public, and avid ship lovers can view archival materials from the Steamship Historical Society of America’s collection. These education modules focus on ScienceTechnologyEngineeringArtMathematics, and Social Studies. By exploring primary and secondary source material, users can see for themselves the ways in which this movement has affected the course of history.

Teachers will find lessons, videos,  images, and guided questions in both the education modules, lessons, and other topics of interest. By clicking on a Category topic in the left sidebar, you can view all the articles matching that subject. Check out the Lessons page to view all lesson plans in one placeWe hope to share what teachers and their students have created using this educational website. Please email us to let us know what you’ve done so we can promote the great work you all do!

If you are a teacher using this website, we want your feedback. Please take our brief 2 question poll so we can understand how many educators and students we are impacting!

Creative Commons License

This work falls under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Do not use STEAMing Into The Future website content for commercial purposes under any circumstances.

Partially funded by the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program, National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.


About SSHSA Banner

The mission of the Steamship Historical Society of America is to record, preserve, and disseminate the history of engine-powered vessels.

In 1935 seven steamship historians and collectors formed the Steamship Historical Society of America (SSHSA). They brought together amateur and professional historians interested in the history and development of steam navigation, past and present.

Today SSHSA holds non-profit 501(c)3 tax-exempt status and remains the oldest and largest organization of its kind in the world. It stewards a collection of hundreds of thousands of images, artifacts, periodicals, artwork, official records, memorabilia, and ephemera archived in more than 100 collections. These materials are devoted exclusively to the history of engine-powered vessels, their passengers and crew.

Our members include maritime collectors and artists, current and former crew members, historians and students, genealogists, scuba divers, cruise travelers, ship engineers and architects, and maritime history enthusiasts.

Join the thousands of maritime enthusiasts who prize their memberships in the Steamship Historical Society of America.

Learn more about what SSHSA does: