McCoy, William

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Types of material
  • Cartoons (Humorous images)
  • Clippings
  • Correspondence
  • Ephemera
  • Passports
  • Photographs
  • Postage stamps
  • Postcards
  • Scrapbooks
Reference files
  • Pennsylvania, Nautical School Ship
  • ?Saratoga, Sloop-of-War, J.M. Garrett Collection
Posted in Photo-rich Collections, Rum Running, Ship Models | 2 Comments

Crothers, William L.

William L. Crothers papers, 1935–1972.
5 volumes, 1 folder (0.33 linear feet).
About William L. Crothers

William L. Crothers was born in 1912. In 1935 Crothers started employment in the Design Division of the Philadelphia Navy Yard (later named the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard). In the same year he joined the Philadelphia Ship Model Society. Crothers retired from the shipyard in 1972.

About the collection

This is a collection of personnel records of William Leech Crothers from the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard. Documents in the collection date from 1935 to 1972 and include: letters regarding appointments, promotions, and pay increases; job description forms; travel requests; performance ratings; applications for positions; photocopies of draft cards; and an “honorary retired membership” card. Printed volumes include publications from Bethlehem Steel Company related to steel plates and structural shapes, circa 1930s; and column tables and mathematical tables.

  • Philadelphia Naval Shipyard (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • Bethlehem Steel Corporation
Types of material
  • Correspondence
Reference files
  • Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
Posted in Philadelphia Naval Shipyard | 4 Comments

Dounton, William

William Dounton account book, 1843–1858.
1 volume (0.08 linear feet).
About William Dounton

William D. Dounton was a ropemaker in Rising Sun Village, Philadelphia.

About the collection

Notebook containing formulae, calculations and tables for methods of ropemaking, plus accounts for ropemaking services. The title on the volume is “William D. Dounton’s Book Containing the Whole Art of Rope Making.”

  • Dounton, William D.
  • Rope
  • Rope — Manufacture
Types of material
  • Account Books
  • Notebooks
Posted in Laborers and Tradesmen | 2 Comments

William Cummings and Son

William Cummings and Son records, 1853–1879.
1 volume (0.41 linear feet).
About William Cummings and Son

William Cummings and Son were shipping merchants in Philadelphia. William Cummings (b. 1806) went into business with his uncle (also named William Cummings) in 1826. In 1830 he went into business for himself. He owned several schooners, brigs, barques, and ships, including the ship William Cummings. Some time before 1864, Cummings’ son, Norris S. Cummings, joined the business. Over its history, the firm operated out of various locations near the Delaware River, including South Delaware Avenue, Walnut Street, and Dock Street. The firm was in operation until at least 1880.

About the collection

This collection consists of a receipt book and a logbook. The receipt book, of the firm of William Cummings and Son, shipping merchants of Philadelphia, lists amounts paid for crew wages, pilotage, wharfage, labor and supplies. The ships William Cummings and Ann Elizabeth are mentioned frequently. The logbook is a record of a voyage of the ship William Cummings from Callao, Peru to Calcutta, India to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Most entries list winds, weather, courses, and remarks on unusual occurrences, such as punishments of crew. Also includes harbor logs while in Callao and Calcutta, and a list of stores received at Calcutta. The volume was later (1872) used by Helen Norris Cummings as a “scrap book” with original stories and sketches.

  • Shipping–Pennsylvania–Philadelphia
  • Ships — Cargo
  • Ships — Equipment and supplies
  • Shipping — Accounting
  • William Cummings (Ship)
  • Ann Elizabeth (Bark)
Types of material
  • Letterbooks
  • Receipts (financial records)
  • Ships’ logs
Posted in Logbooks and Journals, Shipping Trade | 3 Comments

West Philadelphia Boat Club

West Philadelphia Boat Club records, 1871–1917.
5 volumes (0.5 linear feet).
About West Philadelphia Boat Club

The West Philadelphia Boat Club was organized on April 27, 1871 and incorporated in 1873. The club joined the Schuylkill Navy in 1875 and later changed its name to the Penn Athletic Club Rowing Association in 1924.

About the collection

The minute books document discussions held during regular monthly club meetings about business such as the acquisition and naming of crew shells, club uniform specifications and the appointment of various committees. Entries log information on member status, include monthly treasury reports and record steps taken to construct the building located at #12 Boathouse Row. Often referring to correspondence and financial documents described as “on file,” the minute books serve to give the reader a broad picture of the activities of the club but not the specific details of its transactions. Of particular interest are transcriptions of three special meetings held to discipline members accused of “conduct unbecoming of gentlemen”—bringing women they had “picked up” into the boathouse.
Also included in the collection are seven newspaper clippings pertaining to the club’s activities, 2 copies of its by-laws, copies of condolence letters issued to families of deceased members and letters circulated to recruit new members and solicit funds.

  • Rowing clubs — Pennsylvania — Philadelphia
Types of material
  • Minutes
Reference files
  • Rowing
Posted in Rowing Clubs and Rowing | Leave a comment


Wastebook of unidentified Philadelphia merchant, 1763–1764.
1 volume (0.16 linear feet).
About the collection

This is a waste/day book of an unidentified Philadelphia merchant dealing in groceries, liquors, dry-goods, and slaves, May 13, 1763 to July 2, 1764. The volume includes references to payments for French lessons for the merchant’s daughter and for relief of the poor. The brigantine Margery, ship Tyger and sloop Peggy are frequently mentioned.

  • Philadelphia (Pa.) — Commerce — 18th century
  • Merchants — Pennsylvania — Philadelphia
  • Shipping — Accounting
  • Slave trade — Pennsylvania — Philadelphia
Types of material
  • Wastebooks
  • Daybooks
Posted in Merchants, Shipping Trade | 1 Comment

Ventnor Shipyard

Ventnor Shipyard records, 1941–1945.
3 boxes, 2 volumes (3.75 linear feet).
About Ventnor Shipyard

Ventnor Boat Works was founded by Adolph Apel in 1902. The company gained fame as builders of custom speed boats. At the beginning of World War II, Ventnor relocated to Atlantic City, New Jersey, enlarged its facilities and switched from building racing and pleasure craft to producing war ships. Ventnor was contracted to build 83′ and 104′ air-sea rescue boats for the Army as well as 110′ sub-chasers for the Navy. Because of their outstanding work throughout the war years, Ventnor received the coveted Army-Navy “E” award in 1946.

About the collection

Collection of plans of vessels built by Ventnor Boat Works. Includes plans for 83′ and 85′ rescue boats, a 27′ Explorer-type wood motor boat, a patrol rescue boat (PC-497), 36′ air craft rescue boat, and a 104′ air craft rescue boat (P-235). Plans detail general arrangement, inboard profile, decking, ventilation, machinery arrangements, engines, armaments, and other systems and equipment. Several of the plans were designed by Dair Long & Associates, Naval Architects.

  • Naval architecture–Designs and plans
  • Search and rescue boats
  • Shipbuilding–New Jersey–Atlantic City
  • Boatbuilding–New Jersey–Atlantic City
Types of material
  • Ships plans
Posted in Boatbuilding and Boatyards, Large Vessel Builders, Military Support Vessels, Plan Collections, Shipbuilding and Shipyards, Small Vessel Builders | 1 Comment

Vauclain family

Vauclain family papers, 1869–1930.
1 volume, 3 folders, plus 1 oversize folder (0.16 linear feet).
About the Vauclain family

Samuel Matthews Vauclain (1856 -1940) was a lifelong employee of the Baldwin Locomotive Works Company. He was a locomotive manufacturer, inventor, salesman, and international businessman. One of his many achievements was the invention of the compound locomotive in 1889.
His brother James L. Vauclain (1838 and 1874) was 1st Assistant Engineer on USS Periwinkle and USS Standish. In 1861, James L. Vauclain a mechanic for the Lafayette and Indianapolis Railroad, patented a locomotive smokestack that saved fuel and increased power by means of a moveable throat that could be controlled by the engineer, and by employing a smaller stack from which ashes and dust would be thrown higher.
USS Periwinkle (1864) was a steamer procured by the Union Navy during the final months of the American Civil War. She served the Union Navy’s struggle against the Confederate States of America as a patrol gunship.
USS Standish was an iron-hulled screw tug built at Boston in 1864, completed too late for service in the American Civil War. After completing her trials in January 1866, the ship was laid up at Norfolk until 1871 when she was placed in service at the Norfolk Navy Yard. She was sold on 5 August 1921 to B. Wever & Sons, Baltimore, Md.
Quaker City was a steam launch built at Hog Island by the American International Shipbuilding Corporation, and launched in 1920. In 1942, as it was hauling manganese ore from South Africa to Norfolk, Virginia, Quaker City was attacked and sunk by a German U-boat.

About the collection

This is a collection of papers of the Vauclain family. Materials include: logbook of USS Periwinkle and USS Standish, 1869-1870; certificate of appointment of James L. Vauclain as 3rd Assistant Engineer, U.S. Navy; passports for Samuel M. Vauclain, Anna Vauclain and her children; certificates of appointment of Samuel M. Vauclain as member of the Pennsylvania Commission to construct a bridge over the Delaware River; and a small collection of correspondence between Matthew Branch, president of American International Shipbuilding Corporation and Samuel M. Vauclain and his daughter Constance regarding her sponsorship of Quaker City, which was launched in 1919.

  • Periwinkle (Steamer)
  • Standish (Tug)
  • Quaker City (Steam merchant)
  • Launchings–Pennsylvania–Philadelphia
Types of material
  • Certificates
  • Passports
  • Ships logs
  • Correspondence
Reference files
  • American International Shipbuilding Company (?)
  • Delaware River Bridges (prob not)
Posted in Logbooks and Journals, Steamships and Steamboats, Tugboats and Harbor Craft, US Navy | 4 Comments

United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation

United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation records, 1918–1919.
1 box (0.41 linear feet).
About United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation

On 16 April 1917 the U.S. Shipping Board incorporated the Emergency Fleet Corporation to build, own, and operate a merchant fleet for the U.S. government. It performed these functions until 11 February 1927, when Congress changed its name to the Merchant Fleet Corporation. In 1916 the shipbuilding industry completed only 300,000 deadweight tons of ships, whereas the United States during war needed an annual output of 6 million to 10 million deadweight tonnage. To meet this emergency the Fleet Corporation first requisitioned the 431 steel ships being built in American yards for foreign operators. Second, the corporation built three great steel shipyards and invested in many other yards. To speed up construction, yards assembled “fabricated” ships of standard design out of plates and parts made in factories as far west as Kansas.

About the collection

Collection of records of the United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation. Materials include: bound set of charts of shipyard locations and plans of plant layouts of facilities building vessels for the Emergency Fleet Corporation; information for bidders on the fabrication of the steel work for 7500 ton class A vessels at Hog Island, to be constructed by the American International Shipbuilding Corporation; a wage scale for employees in shipyards; and lists of vessels being built for the Emergency Fleet Corporation, including vessel name, class, hull number, builder, and location. Other items in the collection include: vessel registration cards; an application for leave; a pass property issued to L. Snyder; two published volumes prepared by the Emergency Fleet Corporation: Hull Specifications and Fastening Specifications; and pay packets from the American International Shipbuilding Corporation, agent for the Emergency Fleet Corporation.

  • American International Shipbuilding Corporation
  • United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation
  • Shipbuilding–Pennsylvania–Philadelphia
Types of material
  • Architectural drawings
Related collections
  • ISM: American International Shipbuilding Corporation records
Reference files
  • American International Shipbuilding Corporation
Posted in Large Vessel Builders, Shipbuilding and Shipyards, World War I | 2 Comments

United States (Ship)

United States (Ship) logbook, 1829–1830.
1 volume (0.08 linear feet).
About the ship United States

The ship United States was under the command of Alex L. Kennedy during the voyage from Havana to Gibraltar.

About the collection

Logbook of the merchant ship United States recording a voyage from Havana to Gibraltar, including list of cargo received in port at Havana, Nov. 17, 1829 – Feb. 18, 1830; also log of voyage from Cadiz to Trieste, April 16, 1830 – May 23, 1830. Also includes poem signed “W. W.” beginning, “May they whose Lot this Log to Keep/Be worthy of the Task complete …”

  • Ships — Cargo
  • Kennedy, Alex L.
Types of material
  • Ships’ logs
Posted in Logbooks and Journals | Leave a comment