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Herreshoff, Nathanael Greenelocked

(18 March 1848–02 June 1938)
  • Llewellyn Howland

Extract

Herreshoff, Nathanael Greene (18 March 1848–02 June 1938), steam engineer and yacht designer, was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, the seventh of nine children of Charles Frederick Herreshoff (pronounced Herr-es-off, with the stress on the first syllable), a gentleman farmer whose paternal grandfather had emigrated to Rhode Island from Prussia in 1787, and Julia Ann Lewis. Herreshoff escaped the disease that early blinded five of his siblings. But when his consumingly ambitious older brother John Brown Herreshoff became blind at age fourteen, Herreshoff was compelled to assist him in his sailing and boat-building endeavors. By twelve he was a proficient draftsman and boat modeler as well as a skilled yacht racing helmsman and navigator. By the time he graduated from high school (1865), he was playing an important role in the design of small craft being built at his brother’s newly formed Herreshoff & Stone boat works....

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