Cigar box label with an unusual boat pictured. A whaleback was a type of cargo steamship of unusual design, with a hull that continuously curved above the waterline from vertical to horizontal. Only 43 Whaleback Steamships were ever built, constructed from 1887 - 1898, mainly for use on the Great Lakes, although they were also put to use in ocean.transport. Only one whaleback ship remains in existence. The slogan is "A whale of a good cigar."