James R. Wynne (1929-1990) graduated from MIT with a master’s in Mechanical Engineering in 1953 and worked for Mercury Marine until striking out on his own in 1958. Shortly after, he developed a commercially viable stern drive propulsion, which combined an inboard engine with the flexibility of an outboard engine’s propeller. Wynne also designed boat hulls, and specialized in boats large and sturdy enough for offshore racing. Wynne was solely a designer and inventor, so his boats were produced by a variety of production boatbuilders in the US and Europe.
Fred Hudson (1929-2010) was an industrial designer who shaped generations of powerboats. A graduate of Cornell’s School of Architecture and Fine Arts, Hudson designed cars for Packard and Chrysler before joining the Chris-Craft boat company in the early 1960s. Hudson also worked as a freelance designer, often collaborating with James R. Wynne
The bulk of the Hudson-Wynne collection consists of plans for many of James R. Wynne’s powerboat designs. These include drawings for both hull designs and mechanical details. These design and construction plans are supplemented by Fred Hudson’s artistic renderings of the boats, usually in full color. In addition, the collection contains some archival material related to Hudson-Wynne designs, including advertising material, paperwork from boat production companies, and photographs. Separately, a number of Hudson’s renderings for other work, including Packard and Chris-Craft designs, are preserved here.
Title: Hudson-Wynne Collection
Creator: James R. Wynne; Fred Hudson
Dates: 1945-2004; bulk 1972-2000
Extent: 11 drawers plans and 4 linear feet archives
Repository: MIT Museum, Hart Nautical Collection
Access: Open for research by appointment. Access to some material is restricted.
Copyright: Some copyright restrictions apply.
Credit: Hart Nautical Collection, MIT Museum