The Marine Trades 1870s - 1970s

The International Yacht Restoration School Maritime Library is pleased to announce our new exhibit; The Marine Trades, 1870s-1970s. Grouped loosely into three categories – boatbuilding, propulsion, marine systems and hardware – the exhibit includes over thirty books, prints, drawings, blueprints, trade catalogs, and advertising items from the library's collections.

One of the earliest works in the exhibit is also one of the most recent acquisitions of the library, a detailed pencil sail plan for the A.J. Fuller, 'downeaster' built in 1881 by Flint & Co. in Belfast, Maine (fig. 1).The drawing has extensive pencil annotations of sail types and dimensions, and comes from a portfolio of sail plans from the same shipyard, ranging in date from 1868 to 1893. A more modern sail plan in the exhibit comes from the library's large collection of Ratsey and Lapthorn plans, and represents a classic John Alden design from the 1920s (fig. 2).

A detailed pen and ink drawing of an engine gasket was produced in 1884 for the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, Bristol, and is unusual in the way the diagram, drawn on paper, is attached to a small wood board with a drilled hole at the top, allowing the plan to be hung from a hook in the machine shop for easy reference (fig. 3). This manner of presenting detailed plans like this on wood panels appears to be a method used widely at Herreshoff, but adopted by few other companies.

A later item with a Herreshoff connection, from the era of their involvement with yacht design and construction rather than engines, is a syndicate account book for "Resolute", the successful 1920 America's Cup defender. The account book dates from 1914 (before the race was delayed due to the outbreak of war) and lists prices quoted for sails by Herreshoff compared to those obtainable by the Syndicate from other sources (fig. 4).

For the practically-minded in 1932 who had tired of their Model A Ford, Palmer Marine of Cos Cob, Connecticut, offered a conversion kit to allow the old Ford engine to be installed in a boat (fig. 5). Other engine manufacturers of the 1920s, 30s and  40s are represented and include Evinrude, Gray Marine and Chris-Craft (fig. 6).

World War II spurred the need for skilled works in numerous marine trades, and the exhibit includes books from this period relating to ship welding, wire splicing, radar development and more (fig. 7). The exhibition is rounded out by the evolution of more modern means of boat building, from fiberglass in the 1950s to poured epoxy construction developed by the Gougeon brothers in the early 1970s (fig. 8 fiberglass).

The exhibit is on view on the fourth floor of the Aquidneck Mill Building, 449 Thames St, Newport, and will run from late March to early June 2023. The library is open to the public Wednesday-Friday, 12-4pm, and Saturday, 1-5pm.

The full checklist of the exhibit can be seen below:

1. John Scott Russell
Paddle Wheel Steam Ships – Irish Trader
Engraving, 1864, plate 67 from John Scott Russell’s monumental work The Modern System of Naval Architecture, 3 volumes, London.

2. Philip R. Marett.
Yachts and Yacht Building; Being a Treatise on the Construction of Yachts and Matters Relating to Yachting
1872, E. & F.N. Spon, London.

3. Sail Plan for the A.J. Fuller
1881, graphite on paper, from a group of sail plans for ships built by John McDonald for Flint & Co, Belfast, Maine, with extensive annotations in the margins indicating sail changes made until 1895.

4. Herreshoff Manufacturing Co.
Double Bed for 10 inch Stroke Engines
1884, pen and ink on paper mounted to a wood board, intended to be hung in a machine shop and used as a guide in manufacturing.

5. C.P. Kunhardt
Steam Yachts and Launches; Their Machinery and Management
1891, Forest and Stream Publishing, New York.

6. Dixon Kemp
Yacht Architecture: A Treatise on the Laws which Govern the Resistance of Bodies Moving in Water; Propulsion by Steam and Sail; Yacht Designing; and Yacht Building
1897, Horace Cox, London.

7. Stephen Roper
Hand-Book of Land and Marine Engines
1897, David McKay, Philadelphia.

8. America's Cup Defender Resolute
1914, 3 pages from a syndicate account book, listing prices for Herreshoff sails, sails ordered, and a list of the syndicate members.

9. SOCONY Marine Paints
circa 1920, Standard Oil Co. of New York, folding sample sheet.

10. Motor Boat Magazine
1924 & 25, Motor Boat Publishing Company, New York.

11. Ratsey & Lapthorn Sail Plan
1926, blueprint for John Alden’s plan #322, with extensive annotations from the sail makers ranging in date from 1926 through 1934.

12. Evinrude Outboard Motors
1927, Motor Boating Magazine (advertising supplement).

13. Wilco De Luxe Yachting Fixtures
1927, The E.J. Willis Company, New York, 32 page trade catalog.

14. The Divinhood. A Diving Apparatus So Simple Anyone Can Use It
circa 927, Miller-Dunn Company, Miami, FL, 15 page promotional pamphlet.

15. A-E-CO Marine Auxiliaries and Fittings for Yachts and Smaller Craft
1928, American Engineering Company, Philadelphia, 32 page trade catalog.

16. Gray Marine Motors
1929, Gray Marine Motor Company, Detroit, 39 page trade catalog.

17. Bror Tamm (1890- 1981)
Typed letter to Tamm at George Lawley & Son boatyard regarding spar track molding, 1931, and a partial pen & ink plan of a luff track slide from the Lawley boatyard, 1929.

18. Masters Logometers, For Speed Boats, Cruisers, Yachts and Liners
1930, The Irvin W. Masters Company, East Orange, NY, with a letter of solicitation from the Company to the banker and sailor, James A. Stillman.

19. Palmer Marine Engines . Model A Ford Marine Conversion
1932, Palmer Bros. Engines Inc, Cos Cob, CT.

20. Anaconda Metals for Motor Boats, Yachts and Sailing Craft
circa 1932, The American Brass Company, Waterbury, CT, 32 page trade catalog.

21. J.T. Burgess & Commander J. Irving
Knots, Ties and Splices, 1934, E.P. Dutton, New York.

22. Marine and Industrial Hardware
1938, The Thomas Laughlin Company, Portland, ME, 96 page trade catalog.

23. Albert Crivelli
Shipfitters Manual, 1942, Pitman Publishing Corporation, New York.

24. Martin J. Coen
Ship Welding Handbook, 1943, Cornell Maritime Press.

25. R. Scot Skirving
Wire Splicing, 1943, Brown, Son & Ferguson Ltd, Glasgow.

26. J. Francis Reintjes (editor), Radar School, M.I.T.
Principles of Radar, 1946, McGraw-Hill Book Company Inc, New York.

27. Chris-Craft Marine Engines
1948, Chris-Craft Corporation, Algonac, MI, 23 page trade catalog.

28. Lauson Marine Engines
Easy Starting 4 Cycle Inboard Type
Late 1940s, The Lauson Company, New Holstein, WI.

29. Oars. Page Brand
circa 1950, New York Boat Oar Company, Inc., 16 page trade catalog.

 30. Yacht Blocks, Deck, Spar and Rigging Equipment
1957, Merriman Brothers, Boston, MA, 116 page trade catalog.

31. Charles Bell
How to Build Fiberglass Boats
1957, Coward-McCann, Inc, New York.

32. Joe and Jan Gougeon
The Gougeon Brothers on Boat Construction: Wood and WEST System Materials
1979, Pendell Printing Inc., Midland, MI.

fig. 1 "A.J. Fuller" sail plan

fig. 2 John Alden sail plan

fig. 3 Herreshoff
Manufacturing Co.

fig. 4 "Resolute" account book

fig. 5 Palmer Marine Engines

fig. 6 Chris-Craft engines

fig. 7 "Wire Splicing"

fig. 8 "Fiberglass Boats"