The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company is probably not a name that your average Rhode Islander would recognize today, but during the Gilded Age, the name “Herreshoff” was as Rhode Island as a trip to Rocky Point or a clam bake. The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company (or HMCo., as it was known) dominated the Rhode Island boatbuilding industry between the 1870s and 1940s, producing ground-breaking torpedo boats and catamarans, fine steam and sailing yachts, winning America’s Cup defenders, and flying boats. The name was recognized around the world as an example of excellence in Rhode Island industry and manufacturing. In some 70 years of operations, this vertically integrated company built more than 2,000 boats on the now-historic site in Bristol, RI which is occupied today by the Herreshoff Marine Museum. Join curator Evelyn Ansel to learn about this fascinating company and its place in the history of Rhode Island innovation.
--Evelyn Ansel has been the curator at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol, RI since 2021. She has previously worked at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA; the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, NY; the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden; and the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, CT. She received her BA from Brown University in 2012 and has fond memories of many peaceful afternoons studying in the stacks at the Providence Athenæum.