Sally Altschuler wrote,
"I am trying to find information and pictures of parachots, the
steamboats, that were common on the Dnepr around 1900. I'd be happy for any kind
of information on this mean of transportation."
I think the standard Russian word (and maybe also Ukrainian) would
be "parakhod" which looks like "napaxog" in cyrillic handwriting.
This word seems to apply to any steam-driven vessel, >from steamboats --
similar to those used on american rivers in the 1800s -- up to ocean liners.
For example the Titanic is called a "paraxhod" in Russian.
I have a Russian video "Zhestokiy Romans" (A Cruel Romance) which is
set in the 1800s and features voyages on steamboats and duels. It is
all surprisingly evocative of Mark Twain's writings about the american
south before the Civil War.
Russia apparently continued to rely on river transport for passengers
long after the U.S. switched over to railroads and then automobiles
and buses. There probably still are "paraxhods" in use and you could
probably take a tour on one.
- David Mason