Penobscot Marine Museum online photo archive expands

Circa-1905 image of the steamer Verona being launched into the Penobscot River, photographed by Preston Williams. From the MacEwen Photo Collection at Penobscot Marine Museum

Photographer "Red" Boutilier captured the converted fishing trawler Natalie Todd being rechristened for use as a passenger-carrying windjammer in this image from the Boutilier Collection at Penobscot Marine Museum. Monhegan Harbor, with the northern end of Manana Island in the background. From Penobscot Marine Museum's David J. Lindsay Photo Collection

Our pal Bob Holtzman has been in touch to say that the Penobscot Marine Museum at Searsport, Maine, USA has added new collections to its online photo archive that bring the database up to more than 50,000 images. The material is available free at

One of the new collections is that of well-known Maine photographer Everett ‘Red’ Boutilier, who captured the Maine waterfront from the 1950s until shortly before his death in 2003. His work was published in Downeast, National Fisherman, Sail, Yachting, Soundings and other magazines and newspapers.

Boats, fishing, and shipyard scenes from Maine’s midcoast area dominate the more than 20,000 photos in his collection, whose acquisition by the museum was made possible by a gift from another frequent publisher of Boutilier’s work, the magazine Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors.

Two other newly-added collections with strong maritime content are:

  • the MacEwen Collection, which includes the work of amateur photographer Preston Williams, who shot early 20th-century scenes of the waterfront at the Maine commercial centre of Bangor
  • the Lindsay Collection of photographs by David J Lindsay, whose work boats and shipyards, mostly in Lincoln County, Maine, but also in Massachusetts and Vermont

Thanks Bob!

The first volume of Rudder online

Rushton ad The Rudder magazine

The first year’s issues of the famous 19th century stateside boating magazine The Rudder placed online by Mystic Seaport is liberally sprinkled with strongly expressed views that seem deliberately calculated to offend someone or other.

Today, it all seems quaint but slightly crazy – yet many magazine editors will wish they could be so forthright today.

‘In a paper I saw the following wonderful what is it offered for sale : “A keel sloop, cutter rigged.” We shall soon hear of keel schooners, sloop-rigged and cutter-rigged catboats being bought and sold. How a yacht can be both sloop and cutter at one and the same time is something beyond me. The truth, sad to relate, is, very few if any of our large single-masted racing yachts are sloops; many of the best of them are cutters or that bastard rig which is so far nameless.’

I guess the writer means the rig with a single foresail on a jib. What is that called?


‘One thing strikes the buyer who reads the catalogue of J H Rushton: it is the perfect way in which everything is described. The most minute details of construction and finish of his craft are put down in plain English so that a purchaser knows just what he is going to get for his money. For that reason it is one of the best tracts for the suppression of profanity we have ever seen: he leaves the worst cranks no chance for a growl.’

And again:

‘The black-blight that invades and destroys the racing spirit in yacht clubs is the steam yacht. What quality of blood runs in the veins of a man who will willingly exchange the exciting and exhilarating pastime of sailing for the monotonous privilege of being driven around in a kettle? With obligations to the late Lord St Vincent, we remark that a yachtsman who descends to running a steam yacht is d——d for the sport!’

Thanks to The Good Old Boat Redwing weblog for the linking to these entertaining sets of scans.

Sardine carrier Jacob Pike finds a new home

Jacob PIKE sardine carrier

Sardine carrier Jacob Pike

Penobscot Marine Museum of Maine, USA, has put up a very nice short series of films about the Maine sardine industry in general and the elegant sardine carrier Jacob Pike in particular.

The museum has been forced to abandon the attempt to convert the Pike into a floating classroom because safety regulations would have required such great changes to the vessel that it would have lost much of its historical value – but she has been bought by a local lobster fisherman, Jamie Steeves, who is determined to preserve the vessel.

Jamie recently rebuilt a historic wooden-hulled tanker, the Rockland Gulf, which is of about the same size as the Pike, and the museum is confident the sardine carrier will receive good care.

Following repairs, the Pike will be used as a bait carrier and will be berthed at Rockland, where she will be a visible reminder of the city’s waterfront heritage.