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The paddle wheel is powered with steam pistons so there is no shaft that runs the length of the ship. Just steam lines. It could just be tradition though.
> Steamboats, that did the transportation of cotton had to be very careful to prevent the cotton (and the whole boat) from burning down, so the sparkling of the fire had to be kept as far away as possible from the cotton.
Edit: By the looks of it, the boiler is located in the rear along with the engine.