July 26, 2009
A major impediment to river travel has always been the presence of snags, or collections of trees, branches, and the like blocking a clear channel. Henry Shreve designed the first snagboat, the Heliopolis, in 1827. The boat was equipped with a device to pull the snags from the river, making it possible to cut them up into smaller pieces. Such a device can clearly be seen on the Arkansas, the snagboat pictured here docked on the Arkansas River in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1923.