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History Press

Essex Shipbuilding

Essex Shipbuilding

Regular price $24.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $24.99 USD
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For three centuries, shipbuilding flourished in Essex, a small village wrapped around a shallow tidal estuary that flows into Ipswich Bay.

From sturdy little Chebacco boats to the tough but graceful fishing schooners that plied the Grand Banks, Essex vessels became known throughout the maritime world as swift and strong fishermen, and Essex shipbuilding became synonymous with craftsmanship of the highest order. More than four thousand ships slid down the ways destined for ports such as Gloucester, Boston, and New York. By the middle of the twentieth century, however, the industry had vanished and this extraordinary chapter in American maritime history was closed. Essex Shipbuilding recalls an era when dozens of vessels in different stages of construction lined the Essex River and the shipyard gangs worked six days a week, year-round, in any weather.

Featuring the photograph collection of Dana A. Story, Essex Shipbuilding illustrates the firms of A.D. Story and Tarr & James, who built the famous racing schooners Mayflower, Columbia, and Gertrude L. Thebaud, and the high-lining fishermen Elsie and Adventure. Essex Shipbuilding also depicts these vessels at sea-fishing, racing, or pursuing more unusual work, from Arctic exploration to naval service in both world wars to rum running during Prohibition.


Galvinzed, wrapped steel.


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