The GEORGE W. ELDER (built 1874; steamship) passenger accommodations plan (SAFR 21359, HDC1300) consists of one blueprint
showing the passenger accommodations for the steamship S.S. GEORGE W. ELDER. The vessel is also referred to as the GEO. W.
ELDER. The drawing is dated April 30, 1890 and depicts the main deck. The document predates the ship's most famous voyage,
the Harriman Alaska Expedition. The collection is open for use.
The S.S. GEORGE ELDER (1874; steamship), also known as the GEO. W. ELDER, was built by Roach & Sons in Chester, Pennsylvania
for the Oregon S.S. Co. in 1874. The ship was once chartered by the Pacific Mail Steamship Co. The GEORGE W. ELDER is probably
best known as the ship that railway magnate Edward H. Harriman lavishly refitted for his famed expedition (on behalf of the
U.S. Biological Survey) along the Alaskan coast in 1899. Harriman and his crew sailed through the Inside Passage, the Gulf
of Alaska, the Aleutian Archipelago, north through the Bering Sea and Strait, to Nome. Crowds cheered the ship when it departed
from Seattle on May 31, 1899, and the voyage was front-page news across the world. Naturalists John Muir and John Burroughs,
and some of the nation's leading scientists were recruited for the voyage. The Harriman Alaska Expedition enriched the world's
knowledge of the region and its environment, describing new genera and species, recording new fossil species and surveying
new parts of
the Alaskan territory.