Benjamin Mendlowitz photographs, 1979–1989.
5 flat boxes (1.25 linear feet).
About Benjamin Mendlowitz

Benjamin Mendlowitz is a marine photographer. His pictures have appeared in many magazines, including Nautical Quarterly, Sail, WoodenBoat, Yachting, and Connoisseur, and in his Calendar of Wooden Boats. He lives in Brooklin, Maine.

About the collection

This is a collection of approximately 60 photographic prints of wooden boats by Benjamin Mendlowitz. Subjects range from sailing canoes and other smaller craft to traditional sailing yachts, schooners and power cruisers. Vessels include Annie, Aida, and Twilight. Also includes approximately 150 duplicate slides of the photographic prints and other images by Mendlowitz. The prints were displayed in an exhibition at the Philadelphia Maritime Museum (now the Independence Seaport Museum) in 1988. Some of the photographs appear in the published volume Wood, Water & Light: Classic Wooden Boats, 1988.

Library reference files that may contain related information
  • Wooden Boats
Sep 192010
O.P. Merrill papers, 1926–1981.
14 boxes, plus 7 oversize boxes ( linear feet).
About Owen P. Merrill

Owen P. Merrill (1909-1989) was a noted yacht designer, yachtsman, and sailmaker. As a young man, Merrill worked for Olin Stephens at Sparkman & Stephens in Scarsdale New York. In 1931, he was a member of the crew aboard Dorade which won the Transltlantic Race and the Fastnet race. He also worked for the H.B. Nevins yard in City Island, New York. Initially a chief bosun in the U.S. Coast Guard Temporary Reserve, he skippered Edlu in the “off-shore yacht patrol” in the early part of World War II. Later, he joined the Naval Reserve and commanded a 110′ wooden subchaser. Following that assignment, he served as navigator aboard an LSD and Fleet Tanker, seeing action at Luzon’s Leyte Gulf and Lingayen Gulf, as well as Okinawa. After the war, he worked in Philadelphia for Thomas Bowes, designing small steel commercial vessels. In 1952, he went into the sailmaking business in Delanco, New Jersey , which he continued into his late 60s.

About the collection

This is a collection of the personal and professional papers of O.P. Merrill. Materials include: photographs and slides of sailboats (many of Comet class boats) with Merrill sails and photos of sailing races (specific vessels include Brilliant, Dorade, Tradescantia, Edlu, and Barfly); photo albums of 1936 Bermuda Race and the crew of Edlu; photo album of 1926-1932 New York Yacht Club cruises; photo album of model yacht and toy boat races in Bristol Harbor (and letter from N.G. Herreshoff to Merrill dated 1931); photo album of a San Francisco Chamber of Commerce cruise, 1929; a photo album from a trip to Portugal and Spain, 1954; log book of the yacht Dorade kept during the 1932 Bermuda Race; and a travel journal from Merrill’s trip to Italy in 1978. Plans in the collection include: folded plans for subchasers (designed by Luder’s Marine Construction Co. and Sparkman & Stephens), 1941-1942; rolled boat plans by Merrill and others; these include sloops, dinghies, Penguins, Dusters, Comets; plans by Merrill for various types of sails for small craft. Records related to Merril’s business include: business correspondence, including letters from vendors and customers; outgoing correspondence (1961-1965); bills and receipts; product flyers and brochures; files on materials and equipment; financial records, including tax forms, check stubs; Merrill Sails agreement of partnership (between Merrill and Charles W. Lyon, Jr.); dissolution agreement between Merrill and Lyon; a looseleaf binder of sail specifications for Merrill Sails; and several sailcloth sample books and some loose sail cloth samples. Additional materials in the collection include: personal correspondence, 1941-1943, primarily from Merrill’s parents (Mr. and Mrs. Edward K. Merrill); personal financial papers, including health records, financial investments, tax returns; Merrill’s high school diploma and grammar certificate, mid 1920s; diaries 1927-1930; address books; and ephemera. Printed materials include yearbooks for various classes of sailboats and several bound volumes of Transactions of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

Library reference files that may contain related information
  • Comet Class
  • O.P. Merrill
  • Sailmakers
Emma Tuttle (Schooner) logbook, 1863.
1 volume (0.08 linear feet).
About the collection

Collection information currently unavailable. Please contact us for information about this collection.

Types of material
Sep 192010
Havelock (Schooner) logbook, 1863.
1 volume (0.08 linear feet).
About the collection

Collection information currently unavailable. Please contact us for information about this collection.

Types of material
Sep 192010
John Lenthall collection, 1790–1874.
2 boxes, 388 volumes, plus 25 flat file drawers (46.33 linear feet).
About John Lenthall

John Lenthall was born in Washington, DC, in 1807. He learned the trade of ship carpenter at the Washington Navy Yard where his father, also named John Lenthall, was superintendent of shipwrights. Sometime thereafter (approximately 1827), Lenthall began working as an as sistant and draftsman to Samuel Humphreys. In this position, he was also exposed to the work of William Doughty who assumed the responsibilities of Chief Naval Constructor from 1813 to 1826, though he never formally held that title. Both Samuel Humphreys and William Doughty had been associated with the establishment of the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1800-1801. Lenthall continued to perfect his drafting skills between 1826 and 1835. He entered the naval service on May 1, 1835, and was stationed at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. He was appointed Constructor at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1838 and held that post until 1849. From 1849 to 1853 he served as Chief Naval Constructor in Washington, D.C., and from 1853 until his retirement in 1871, he was Chief of the Bureau of Construction for the Navy Department. Lenthall died in 1882.

About the collection

This collection is on permanent loan to the Independence Seaport Museum from the Franklin Institute. This collection consists of 518 ships’ plans and drawings, 1780-1874. The bulk of the items are John Lenthall’s plans, dating from 1823 to 1874; there are also plans by Lenthall’s mentors, Samuel Humphreys, Josiah Fox, and William Doughty, dating from 1790 to 1853. Included are plans for frigates, brits, ships of the line, sloops of war, schooners, steamboats, packet ships, monitors, and a number of other types of vessels. The collection also includes specification books for various ships, dating from 1798 to 1855. For a detailed biography of John Lenthall and an inventory of the collection, see the collection guide. [link to collection guide on ISM website]

Types of material
Related collections
  • Independence Seaport Museum: John Lenthall papers, 1794-1865; for a list of repositories that hold materials on Lenthall, see the [link] collection guide [link]
Library reference files that may contain related information
  • Lenthall, John
Sep 192010
Porpoise (USS) requisition book, 1826.
1 folder (0.08 linear feet).
About the collection

This is a requisition book for the Carpenters, Gunners & Sailmakers Departments on US Schr. Porpoise. The volume contains records of items such as wood, tools, paint, nails, coal, and canvas, required by various departments on board Porpoise, during its Mediterranean cruise, from February to December, 1826. Requisitions were submitted by officers John A. Cook and Benjamin Cooper, among others, and signed by Matthew Calbraith Perry.

Sep 192010
William Hunter logbook, letterbook, and journal, 1826–1830.
1 box (0.41 linear feet).
About the collection

Collection information currently unavailable. Please contact us for information about this collection.

Types of material
Providence (Schooner) records, 1879–1889.
1 folder (0.08 linear feet).
About the collection

This is a small collection of receipts issued to the owners of the schooner Providence, between March 1879 and November 1880, and between April 1888 and January 1889. Included are receipts for the ship’s supplies and provisions, repairs, towing, duties, and other services. The series of receipts from Ludlam Matthews & Son, Grocers and Ship Chandlers provide a virtual grocery list for the ship. Other merchants prominent in the collection include Riggs & Brother, Eugene H. Cathrall, Wood and Lumber Merchant, Shubert & Cottingham, Steam Block & Pump Makers, Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Co., and Joseph Baymore, Mast and Sparmaker. Also included are receipts from shippers using the Providence, mostly for transport of coal, particularly the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company. The majority of receipts were issued by Philadelphia merchants. Receipts from Havana and Matanzas, Cuba, Boston, Massachusetts and Bath, Maine are also included.

Sep 192010
Thomas D. Bowes, M.E., Associates records, 1905–1982.
43 boxes, 11 volumes, and numerous rolled charts (129.5 linear feet).
About Thomas D. Bowes

Thomas D. Bowes (1883-1965) graduated from Cornell University in 1905. In the same year, he founded the naval architecture firm of Thomas D. Bowes, M.E., Associates, Inc. The firm designed over eighty tugboats and several of Philadelphia’s fireboats. The firm also designed over 300 yachts, mostly “commuter” and “houseboat” yachts. Bowes designed the 23′ 9″ “A” class sloop for the Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia, of which he was a member. In addition to being a businessman, Bowes served on the advisory committee of the U.S. Council of National Defense and the Anti-Submarine Warfare Committee of the U.S. Naval Consulting Board during the first World War. During the Second World War, he designed minesweepers and submarine chasers for the U.S. Navy. Bowes also designed and patented the Bowes Drive, an electric device for the reduction of speed between engine and drive shaft in marine installations.

About the collection

This collection is scheduled to be arranged and described. Please stay tuned for updated collection information. This is a collection of plans and records of the naval architecture firm of Thomas D. Bowes, M.E., Associates, Inc. Materials include: rolled design plans, design #1-878 (1906-1964); and rolled design plans by job order, #9131-9504 (1944-1963). These include construction plans, deck plans, general arrangement plans, inboard and outboard profiles, lines and offsets, hold plans, rigging and sail plans, midship section plans, and other machinery, equipment, and structural plans. Vessel types include barges, cargo vessels, catboats, cruisers, ferries, fireboats, houseboats, runabouts, schooners, sloops, tankers, tugs, and yachts. Designs are by Bowes, Bowes and Mower, and Bowes and Watts. The collection also includes design plan files for designs #710 to 857 and some job order records. These files include drawings and machinery plans, specifications, correspondence, calculations, inspection reports, engine and generator tests, work orders, product catalogues, and press releases.

Business records of the firm include: correspondence, patents, and descriptions with plans and photos of the Bowes Drive; patents for other inventions by Bowes; correspondence related to patent applications and renewals; description and drawings of the “Magnetic 4,” a car designed by Bowes to run on a magnetic transmission; a brochure of tugs designed by Bowes and built by RTC Shipbuilding; 1961-1964 corporate records, including bylaws and board of trustees minutes; contracts and bids; publicity materials for vessels designed by Bowes, including tugs and fireboats; correspondence related to sales of fireboats to various port cities in the United States and abroad; legal agreements, correspondence, plans, and other records related to work done for Fiedler and Sellers on diesel engines (mid-1940s); reprints and extracts of articles on naval engineering and architecture; product catalogues; reports, including a 1960 Delaware River Basin study by the U.S. Army Engineers; photographs of vessels, including tugs, fireboats; and a photo album (disbound) with images of the construction of Arthur Hoyt Scott. Printed volumes in the collection include Machine Design (1903), Shipfitting Practice (1941), and Shipbuilding Shop Fabrication (1943). The collection also includes personal papers of Thomas D. Bowes, including a small amount of personal correspondence, photographs, a 1905 Cornell University yearbook, and Bowes’ will and related estate documents. Materials in the collection related to the Corinthian Yacht Club, 1951-1970, include minutes, treasurer’s reports, race committee reports, race results, memoranda, and correspondence, and photographs and negatives of launches and trials of sailing vessels.

Library reference files that may contain related information
  • Bowes, Thomas
  • Corinthian Yacht Club
Sep 192010
Edward G. Brownlee papers, 1930–1992.
4 boxes (1.5 linear feet).
About Edward G. Brownlee

Edward G. Brownlee (1911-2005) conducted extensive research into the history of ships and shipping in the Mid-Atlantic region.

About the collection

This collection is scheduled to be arranged and described. Please stay tuned for updated collection information. The collection consists of scrapbooks and papers assembled by Edward Brownlee. There are two scrapbooks on the Port of Philadelphia, which contain clippings, magazine and newspaper illustrations, photographs, notes and lists of ships by line, and several maps. Lines represented include White Star, Holland America, American Export, and Banana Sales Corporation. There is also a disbound scrapbook on schooners, which contains photographs and clippings from the early 1930s. Schooners represented include Edna Hoyt, George W. Elzey, Jr., Copperfield of Mobile, Nomis, Edward R. Smith, and others. Miscellaneous papers of Brownlee, 1933-1992, include: a small batch of correspondence (1930s-1980s); notes on photographs of schooners; newspaper clippings about shipping in the Port of Philadelphia; Brownlee’s research notes, including notes on Joseph Ogden (a ferryman in Philadelphia in the 18th century), and on tonnage measurements in marine archaeology; typescripts of articles by Brownlee, including “Reconstruction of Coasting Schooners” and “Recollections of Several Depression-Era Voyages and Coasting Schooners”; annotated sketches of an oystering schooner; and a 1991 letter from Brownlee regarding his connection with Independence Seaport Museum’s library. The collection also contains line plans, circa 1990s, by Edward G. Brownlee. These include plans for William E. Lee, Electa Bailey, New Ironsides, and General Banks.

Related collections
  • Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum: Edward G. Brownlee paper, MS 25, includes photographs, notes, and drawings of vessels in the Cheasapeake Bay region (collection transferred to CBMM by Philadelphia Maritime Musem/Independence Seaport Museum)
Library reference files that may contain related information
  • Port of Philadelphia
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