Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914   Hard Cover
Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914   Hard Cover
Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914   Hard Cover
Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914   Hard Cover
Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914   Hard Cover
Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914   Hard Cover
Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914   Hard Cover
Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914   Hard Cover
Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914   Hard Cover
Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914   Hard Cover
Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914   Hard Cover

Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914 Hard Cover

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Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914 Hard Cover
Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914
Hard Cover
519 pages
Copyright 1971
List of Illustrations xiii
Some Preliminary Considerations xvii
1 A Short History of the Port of Boston 1
2 Some Waterfront Views 27
3 Shipbuilding and Repairing 71
4 Some Useful Vessels and Institutions of the Port 117
5 Fishing 169
6 Coastal Sail 217
7 Coastal Steam 285
8 Deep-Water Sail 333
9 Deep-Water Steam 395
10 The Navy in the Port 431
11 Recreation 451
Appendix I. Brief Remarks Concerning Several of the Photographers 495
Appendix II. Sources of Photographs 497
Notes 501
Index 511
2.1 A small coasting schooner and a sloop off Minot's Light in the eighties
2.2 A view of the outer harbor, looking north from Hull, in the eighties
2.3 A view of Quincy in the eighties
2.4 Bostona city by the sea-in the late fifties
2.5 A section of the South End waterfront, 1877
2.6 A section of the North End waterfront, 1877
2.7 A view of Long Wharf in the early sixties
2.8 A view of Long and Central Wharves, probably 1866
2.9 A northerly perspective from State Street Block c. 1870
2.10 A view from the end of T Wharf toward Atlantic Avenue in the seventies
2.11 India Wharf Block in the sixties
2.12 A glimpse of Lewis Wharf in 1884, with the barkentine Morning Star lying in the foreground
2.13 The view southeasterly from Bunker Hill Monument in the seventies
2.14 The East Boston waterfront probably in the sixties
2.15 An East Boston dock in the eighties
2.16 A schooner tows through Charlestown Bridge, 1883
2.17 The bark Albert Russell lying at Damon's Wharf, Charlestown, c. 1875
2.18 The Hoosac Tunnel Docks, Charlestown, 1911
2.19 A view of the South Boston waterfront, 1906
2.20 A panorama of the lower inner harbor, 1906
3.1 The clipper ship Champion of the Seas, 1854
3.2 Donald McKay's shipyard at East Boston, c. 1855
3.3 Launching day, ship Glory of the Seas, East Boston, 1869
3.4 Shipbuilding at Medford, c. 1868
3.5 The ship Comet on the stocks, Chelsea, 1869
3.6 Launching day for the pilot schooner Hesper, Chelsea, 1884
3.7 Joiners at work on the schooner Alma Cummings, 1890
3.8 A group portrait taken aboard the Alma Cummings
3.9 Master builder John Brooks at his East Boston shipyard
3.10 The Atlantic Works, East Boston, c. 1889
3.11 Engine-building at the Atlantic Works, 1878
3.12 The steel schooner Thomas W. Lawson on the stocks at Quincy, 1902
3.13 Launching preparations under the schooner Thomas W. Lawson
3.14 The launch of the U.S.S. Marblehead, South Boston, 1892
3.15 The launch of the submarine Tarantula at Quincy, 1907
3.16 A half-brig is refastened at East Boston, c. 1890
3.17 A cofferdam is used for repairing the Cunarder Pavonia in the eighties
3.18 A view of Simpson's Dry Dock, East Boston, in the seventies
3.19 The pilot schooner Hesper in Simpson's Dry Dock, 1889
3.20 The schooner Emma M. Vickerson is caulked in Fort Hill Dry Dock c. 1885
3.21 Hull repairs at low water, South Boston, probably in the seventies
3.22 The America's Cup Defender Volunteer fitting-out at South Boston, 1887
3.23 A Lawley displacement speed boat, 1905
3.24 The Fall River liner Providence is broken up at Nut Island, Quincy, 1901
4.1 Boston Lightship, 1915
4.2 Captain Joshua James, Keeper of the U.S. Life-Saving Service Station at Point Allerton, with his crew and boats, 1893
4.3 Captain Joshua James and his crew pose with some apparatus of the business
4.4 The U.S. Revenue Cutter Manning, 1898
4.5 The Lighthouse Establishment tender Gardenia in the nineties
4.6 A license issued by the Steamboat Inspection Service
4.7 The pilot schooner Hesper under her summer rig, 1891
4.8 The pilot schooner Sylph (II) drives home under reefed canvas, 1884
4.9 The pilot schooner Varuna, 1891
4.10 The pilot schooner Lillie after a winter gale, 1879
4.11 Captain Thomas Cooper tacks the pilot schooner Columbia, in the nineties
4.12 Pilots playing cards aboard the Columbia, in the nineties
4.13 The wreck of the Columbia after the "Portland Gale," 1898
4.14 The police steamer Patrol, 1890
4.15 The city-owned steamer J. Putnam Bradlee
4.16 Boston Floating Hospital, 1906
4.17 The tug Leader in the eighties
4.18 A receipt for towage by the tug Leader
4.19 Tugs of the Boston Tow Boat Company lie at T Wharf, 1884
4.20 Tugs of the Boston Tow Boat Company lie at Lewis Wharf, 1906
4.21 The East Boston ferry Gen. Hancock c. 1890
4.22 The "narrow gauge" ferry Newtown in 1908
4.23 A view of the pilot house of the John Romer, a Nantasket steamer
4.24 The steamer Gov. Andrew backs into the stream, 1908
4.25 A small cat-rigged working vessel
4.26 A sailor's boarding house in the North End, in the eighties
4.27 James Bliss & Co., ship chandlers
5.1 Fishing vessels lying in T Wharf north dock, c. 1885
5.2 The south side of T Wharf, 1907
5.3 A fisherman making up a trawl in the early 1900s
5.4 Fishermen baiting trawls in the eighties
5.5 Deck view of a fishing schooner, mid-eighties
5.6 Crowded conditions at T Wharf
5.7 Scale-spattered fishermen, probably aboard a small North Shore trawler, c. 1890
5.8 The crew and mascot of a trawler, c. 1900
5.9 A cartload of haddock in the eighties
5.10 The men of a shore fisherman clean the catch, c. 1890
5.11 The haddock schooner Joseph Warren at T Wharf, c. 1885
5.12 The mackerel schooner Margie Smith under tow, c. 1885
5.13 A big halibut being landed at T Wharf in the eighties
5.14 The clipper fishing schooner Joseph Warren, c. 1885
5.15 The pilot-type fishing schooner Carrie E. Phillips, 1887
5.16 The round-stem fishing schooner Ellen C. Burke, 1902
5.17 The schooner Juniata on the beach, 1898
5.18 The knockabout schooner Washakie on a trial sail, 1908
5.19 The Quincy-built Boston "beam trawler" Surf, 1915
5.20 A Boston Irish fishing cutter, c. 1890
5.21 Italian fishermen in a "Guinnie boat"
6.1 A large fleet of coasters at anchor in the harbor in the early seventies
6.2 The topsail schooner Bessie becalmed off the Castle, 1905
6.3 The schooner Eugenie in a blow, 1894
6.4 The E. Arcularius, a Rockland "lime coaster," 1904
6.5 A Down East schooner under tow in the eighties
6.6 A hay schooner arrives, in the eighties
6.7 The "Rockport stone sloop" Albert Baldwin
6.8 The Quincy-built stone sloop William P. Hunt
6.9 The Down East packet schooner Sarah Louise, in the eighties
6.10 The schooner Frank W. Howe, built for the hard pine trade, 1891
6.11 Two three-masters at an East Boston lumberyard, c. 1890
6.12 The dismasted three-master Rachel & Maud, 1884
6.13 Mr. George B. McQuesten inspects a new schooner
6.14 A coastwise shipping office, c. 1890
6.15 The schooner J. E. du Bignon tows down the harbor, 1890
6.16 The J.E. du Bignon, from alongside aft
6.17 The J.E. du Bignon thrashes along in fine style
6.18 The four-master Augustus Hunt, iced, in the eighties
6.19 The bow of the schooner Augustus Hunt
6.20 A rare view of the Weybosset, an early four-master, 1884
6.21 A deck view of the schooner Haroldine, an early four-master, 1884
6.22 The four-masted schooner Tecumseh flying light with a fresh breeze, 1890
6.23 The schooner Peter H. Crowell at anchor in the ice, 1893
6.24 The three-master Cox & Green running wing and wing, 1892
6.25 The tug William Wooley tows the Charles L. Jeffery, a three-master, c. 1885
6.26 The mechanics of discharging coal, 1883
6.27 The three-master Lucinda G. Potter discharges coal, 1883
6.28 The Emma M. Fox, a two-master, at Medford
6.29 Two large schooners and a coastal barge lie at a Chelsea coal pocket, in the nineties
6.30 Two five-masters, the William C. Carnegie and the Jennie French Potter, at anchor, 1900
6.31 The Edward B. Winslow, a six-master, towing up the harbor in 1910
6.32 The five-masted schooner Dorothy Palmer, 1903
6.33 The Mertie B. Crowley, a six-master, at anchor in 1907
6.34 The Mertie B. Crowley under all sail
6.35 The four-master Stanley M. Seaman slipping along nicely in 1908
7.1 The Star of the East, a Kennebec steamer
7.2 The City of Bangor heads down the ship channel, 1894
7.3 The steamer City of Bangor, 1906
7.4 Colored stewards (in casual dress, between trips) aboard the City of Bangor
7.5 The steamer City of Rockland after a collision, 1912
7.6 Officers of the Down East steamer State of Maine, 1884
7.7 A view of the forward end of the beam engine of the State of Maine
7.8 The forward saloon of the State of Maine
7.9 Breaking ice aboard the steamer St. Croix, 1899
7.10 The steamer Carroll lying at T Wharf in the seventies
7.11 A wooden screw steamer lying at T Wharf in the seventies
7.12 The reliable steamer City of Gloucester, 1884
7.13 The Metropolitan liner General Whitney in harbor ice, 1884
7.14 The Metropolitan liner H.M. Whitney rests on the harbor bottom in the nineties
7.15 The departure of steamers at 5 PM, summer 1908
7.16 Steamers for Philadelphia and Baltimore in the late sixties
7.17 The Merchants' & Miners' able liner Kershaw, 1907
7.18 The ill-fated steamer City of Columbus
7.19 The Boston-Savannah steamer Tallahassee in the nineties
7.20 The Clyde Line's freighter Carib passes anchored schooners, 1902
7.21 The wooden tug Cyclops lying at a coal pocket in the eighties
7.22 The coastal tug Wrestler, 1891
7.23 The big tug Lykens making up at tow, 1902
7.24 The steam collier Malden lies at anchor, 1908
8.1 Shipping lying at Central and India Wharves in 1857
8.2 The ships Anahuac, Lucy S. Wills, and Anna Decatur load ice, Charlestown, c. 1870
8.3 The bark Acacia in the seventies
8.4 The ship Sooloo, a Salem East Indiaman, 1884
8.5 The ship Sooloo dismasted, 1887
8.6 A scene aboard the ship Panay, towing down the harbor, 1887
8.7 The departing Panay as viewed from the tug
8.8 The bark Amy Turner at Lewis Wharf in the eighties
8.9 A scene aboard the bark Martha Davis, towing to sea
8.10 The bark Kennard, a Western Island packet, under sail, 1888
8.11 The bark Sarah, a Western Island packet, becalmed
8.12 The Clara Eaton, a small bark, under tow, 1884
8.13 The ship John Currier lying at a North End wharf in the nineties
8.14 A deck view aboard the ship Sea Witch in the eighties
8.15 The ship Joseph B. Thomas lying at Fiske Wharf, probably in 1896
8.16 The ship Great Admiral discharging salt at Battery Wharf, 1893
8.17 The carpenter and chief mate of the ship Great Admiral, at sea in 1887
8.18 The ship Aryan discharging timber at East Boston, 1911
8.19 Pumping the bilges of the ship Aryan
8.20 The barkentine Herbert Fuller lying at East Boston, 1896
8.21 Shipping in the Little Mystic Channel in the nineties
8.22 The barkentine John S. Emery puts to sea, 1890
8.23 The bark Helen A. Wyman lies at anchor off Bird Island, 1904
8.24 The German bark Maria approaches the Castle in the nineties
8.25 Two Liverpool vessels, the bark Arracan and the ship Scottish Lochs, at East Boston in the nineties
8.26 The British bark Corryvrechan in tatters, 1897
8.27 Foreign square riggers load lumber for the River Plate, 1910
8.28 The lovely Timandra drives across Massachusetts Bay
9.1 An early Cunarder, probably the Niagara, at East Boston, c. 1855
9.2 A deck view of the Cunarder Russia, at Boston c. 1869
9.3 The Cunarder Pavonia is headed down the channel by tugs, 1885
9.4 A deck view aboard the Pavonia at sea, in the eighties
9.5 A deck view aboard the Pavonia at sea, looking aft from the forecastle, in the eighties
9.6 A group of the Pavonia's officers, posed at Boston, 1892
9.7 The big Cunarder Servia, at Boston in 1896
9.8 The departing Servia held against a breeze by tugs
9.9 A fine view of a Leyland cargo line, probably the Istrian in 1876
9.10 The Leyland liner Columbian, a cattle carrier, 1904
9.11 The "Furness Line" cattle ship Venetian aground, 1895
9.12 The Warren Line steamer Sachem, 1907
9.13 The Allan liner Hibernian, an early spar deck steamer
9.14 The Wilson liner Ohio steaming wearily to sea, 1901
9.15 The banana steamer Barnstable lying heavily iced at Long Wharf, 1895
9.16 The White Star liner Arabic backs out of the Charles, 1905
9.18 The White Star liner Republic making knots, 1907
10.1 A sloop-of-war in Dry Dock Number One at the Navy Yard, c. 1852
10.2 The schooner America and the sloop-of-war Marion lying off the Navy Yard, 1863
10.3 The screw frigate Wabash serving as a receiving ship, in the seventies
10.4 An ox-drawn rowing cutter
10.5 A view in the ropewalk
10.6 The cruiser Boston visiting Boston, 1889
10.7 The cruiser Atlanta fires a salute for the President, 1890
10.8 The cruiser Maryland inaugurates a new dry dock, 1905
10.9 The cruiser Tennessee and the frigate Constitution, 1907
11.1 Swimming, strolling, and bicycling at Marine Park, South Boston
11.2 The excursion steamer Empire State departing Newburyport
11.3 Captain J. Marshall Phillips of the Empire State
11.4 The John Romer calling at Pemberton
11.5 A fishing party aboard a small schooner in the nineties
11.6 The pilot schooner Hesper is trimmed in a race with the schooner Fredonia, 1889
11.7 The sloop Coyote and other yachts at Hull, 1887
11.8 A sailing party, c. 1890
11.9 The racing catboats Almira and Harbinger, 1890
11.10 The racing cat Koorali
11.11 The cat Mab of the 16-foot class
11.12 A sloop of casual construction
11.13 The schooner yacht Gitana, c. 1885
11.14 A deck view aboard the Gitana, 1884
11.15 In the cabin of the Gitana
11.16 The schooner yacht cEnone looking fit in 1892
11.17 The America's Cup defender Volunteer gets her anchor for her trial sail, 1887
11.18 The steam yacht Corona off the East Boston waterfront, 1890
11.19 Aboard Frank McQuesten's sloop Thelma, c. 1890
This is a book of photographs. The photographs are concerned with the port of Boston, 1852-1914. Nevertheless, this is not a photographic history of the port of Boston during that period. A major port is a far-reaching social and economic phenomenon that defies photographic capture. Like most ports, Boston was primarily a point of converging transportation systems involved in the carriage of particular freights. It both fostered and served a great city and an important industrial hinterland. It was a small part of the tremendous, ever-changing, seemingly amorphous network of world commerce. An adequate overview of Boston's position in the system during the last half of the nineteenth century would have to include the pampas of Argentina, the timberlands of Canada, Maine, and Georgia, the wheatlands of Kansas, the canefields of Java, and the coalfields of West Virginia-not to mention the shoe factories of Lynn, the textile mills on the Merrimac, and the magnificent harbor of the great domineering rival to the west, New York. It would have to rank locomotives with vessels, rail founders with shipbuilders.
Nor is it even entirely accurate to call this book a photographic maritime history of the port of Boston since it cannot be fully comprehensive. Nevertheless, the book's treatment of that history is intended to be a fair representation of the whole.
Personal preferences have compromised the historical purity of this collection from its very beginning. The professional photographer primarily took those photographs that he was hired to take; the amateur usually pursued his own narrow interests with little peripheral vision. Technologically hampered, photographers were generally very discriminating. The ingrained habits of formalized picture-taking persisted long after more casual photography was possible. Thousands of commonplace scenes which would interest us greatly today were ignored (how many of us have recorded the interior of a supermarket for future historians?). There is a danger of accepting as commonplace particular scenes which were photographed precisely because of their novelty.
Only a very small percentage of the photographs taken survived. Of those that I was able to see I selected the pictures which I most enjoyed looking at, which would reproduce well, and which I judged to be of historical interest. The choices were often difficult, and I could have happily selected twice as many. If another person had compiled this collection the result would no doubt be very different.
The dates "1852-1914" in the subtitle are in one sense misleading, since the collection is of necessity chronologically unbalanced. Most of the photographs are from the twenty years between 1880 and 1900, and that is the only period that develops much of any horizontal identity. Very few of the photographs date from before the end of the Civil War. It has often been maintained that the nineteenth century lasted until 1914; certainly in America the century's mid-point was the Civil War. Therefore, this book is primarily concerned with the port of Boston during the last half of the nineteenth century.
Despite its limitations, I believe that the collection does draw together to form a visual maritime portrait of the port, as composed by the photographers and their clients. It is, perhaps, a reasonable representation of the port as they saw it. The contemporary image-be it of the shape of a ship or a concept of commerce-will always be crucial to the understanding of history.
The principal creators of this book were the photographers. Despite great handicaps, they produced works of artistry and quality. Necessarily men of great patience and perseverance, they succeeded in preserving frozen images of time-acts of magic not adequately explained by chemical formulas alone. They have greatly enriched my life, and I hope that this book succeeds in sharing some of the pleasure that I have been afforded.
A scholarly friend has accused me of unleashing yet another -coffee-table book" on the world. Though I will be most pleased if anyone chooses to keep this book in so accessible a location, I disagree with the implication that "picture books" are not to be taken seriously. No doubt my friend would have been most impressed if I were publishing a collection of unearthed manuscripts, but-reflecting a widespread prejudice-considered a collection of photographs to be of interest only to hobbyists. I suspect that this common judgment is a reflection of an intellectual perversion of the Puritan ethic, and that historic photographs are scorned as valuable documents primarily because they are so very entertaining! I would maintain that not only are photographs extremely important historic records, but that in many specific instances they comprise the very best medium through which the past may be presented.
A viewer's interest in a photograph is in direct proportion to his comprehension of the depicted scene. It is the more usual custom to illustrate a text with entertaining pictures; in this case I have attempted to illustrate some entertaining photographs with an informative text.
Though many persons have been responsible for much that is right with this book by correcting or improving much that was wrong or weak, no one other than myself may be implicated in any way for the shortcomings that remain.
W. H. B.

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