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Haffenreffer-Herreshoff Collection

Design and manufacturing archive for the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company.

The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company was a highly successful yacht design, boatbuilding, and marine engineering firm in Bristol, Rhode Island. It was founded in 1878 as a partnership between John B. Herreshoff, an established boatbuilder, and his brother, Nathanael G. Herreshoff, an 1870 MIT graduate who was working for the Corliss Steam Engine Company. With Nathanael as the primary designer and John the business manager, the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company became a major, vertically-integrated firm that produced fast steamers and, after about 1890, hundreds of highly successful sailing yachts. These included a string of America’s Cup winners and fast, able racers and daysailers for amateur sailors. The company was sold to Rudolph F. Haffenreffer in 1924, and closed for good in 1945.

The Haffenreffer-Herreshoff collection contains boat and engine plans, technical material, and casting records for vessels built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company. Drawings and plans are the bulk of the collection, providing a substantially complete design record for Herreshoff boats, engines, hardware, and the shipyard buildings. There are relatively few business records and other written materials; those that survive here include the company’s construction record and books with offsets, which record the shape of most of the Herreshoff designs. For more detailed information on the organization and contents of the collection, please see the Haffenreffer-Herreshoff Collection finding aid.

Title: Haffenreffer-Herreshoff Collection

Creator: Herreshoff Manufacturing Company

Dates: 1868-1945

Extent: 14,000 plans and 11 linear feet archives

Language: English

Repository: MIT Museum, Hart Nautical Collection

Access: Open for research by appointment and online.

Copyright: Some copyright restrictions may apply.

Credit: Haffenreffer-Herreshoff Collection, Hart Nautical Collections, MIT Museum

See more detail in the [Haffenreffer-Herreshoff Collection Finding Aid]