Commercial steamboating on the Hudson River began with Robert Fulton's Steamboats successful run from New York to Albany on August 14th, 1807. This was the first voyage of any length made by a steamboat, and immediately following its success, the North River began regular steamboat trips on that same route. The first steamboats left the paddlewheel uncovered, and were dangerous for life and limb. The first prototypes of covers were sunbursts or fans.
This origin of this steamboard Lunette is unknown, but is closely related to that of the Metropolis, 1854-1879, built by Sneeden and Whitlock, in Greenpoint, New York and owned by the Fall River line. For a further discussion of Paddle Box covers see Alexander Crosley Brown, "Paddlebox Decorations of American Sound Steamboats", The American Neptune (Newport News, Virginia, 1943), vol. III.