Table of Contents
Nelson F. Wood was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1919. His father, Howard M. Wood, was a locally well-known photographer. His mother and his sister were living in New Bedford in 1961, where he often visited. His paternal grandfather, Allen G. Wood was the principal of the 5th Street School in New Bedford. His maternal grandfather, Jothan A. French, was a pioneer wet-plate photographer in Keene, New Hampshire. He was married to the former Jane Beers of Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Mr. Wood served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years. He was an assistant professor of engineering research at Pennsylvania State University and lived most of his life in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. He died in 2009.
Steamships have played a major role in the history of the geographic area of New Bedford, Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket. They were instrumental in the economic and social progress of the people who lived there and those who visited these regions. Mr. Woods' interest in steamboats was extensive, focusing on everything from the establishment of the commercial enterprises, to the design and building of the ships, to the social impact they had upon the local environment, and the people who played a part in this history.
The newspapers, printed materials, plans, maps, and copied materials described in this finding aid comprise a larger collection of postcards, photographs taken by his father (Howard M. Wood), books, and a partial whaling logbook Mr. Wood gave to the New Bedford Whaling Museum in 1991. Mr. Wood contributed his knowledge and efforts for an exhibit and lecture on the history of local steamboats at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in 1992.
Each series follows the format used by Mr. Wood for his research including the numerous loose papers and articles found with the collection. There are several collections of materials that do not relate directly to the history of steamships and have been left in their original location.
Arrangement of Collection
Access to Collections
Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 115, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 United States Code 552a) governs the use of materials that document private individuals, groups, and corporations.
Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction if the document does not infringe the privacy rights of an individual, group, or corporation. These specified conditions of authorized use include:
- non-commercial and non-profit study, scholarship, research, or teaching
- criticism or commentary
- as a NBWM archives preservation or security copy for research use
- as a research copy for deposit in another institution
If the researcher later uses a copy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," the researcher is personally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement and agrees to indemnify the New Bedford Whaling Museum from any legal action as a result of the error. Permission to obtain a photographic, xerographic, digital, or other copy of a document does not indicate permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, sell, distribute, or prepare derivative works from the document without permission from the copyright holder and from any private individual, group, or corporation shown or otherwise recorded.
Permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, prepare derivative works from, sell, or otherwise distribute the item must be obtained separately in writing from the holder of the original copyright (or if the creator is dead, from his/her heirs) as well as from any individual(s), groups, or corporations whose name, image, recorded words, or private information (e.g. employment information) may be reproduced in the source material. The holder of the original copyright is not necessarily the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is not legally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement when materials are wrongfully used after being provided to researchers for "fair use."
This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if fulfillment of the order is judged in violation of copyright or federal or state privacy law. This institution also places restrictions on the use of cameras, photocopiers, and scanners in the research room.
Removed to Printed Collection
- Cram, W. Bartlett. Picture History of New England Passenger Vessels, Hampden Highlands, Me.: Burntcoat Corp., 1980.
- White, John H. Jr. Early American Locomotives, with 147 Engravings, New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1972.
Materials in this collection were donated to the New Bedford Whaling Museum in 1991, Accession #1991.48.
Processed by: Jalien Hollister, 2013
Encoded by: Mark Procknik, 17 December 2013
Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection
Bath Iron Works
Bethlehem Steel Company
Bradford, William, 1823-1892
Brayton, William B.
Cape Cod (Mass.)
Friends of Nobska (Steamer)
Hass, Alfred F.
Hough, Henry Beetle, b. 1896
Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)
Nantucket Inquirer and Mirroe
New Bedford (Mass.)
New Bedford Whaling Museum
New Bedford, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamboat Company
New England Steamship Company
Oak Bluffs (Mass.)
Old Colony Railroad Company
Old Dartmouth Historical Society (New Bedford, Mass.)
Pease, Zeph. W. (Zephaniah Walter), b. 1861
The Standard Times (New Bedford, Mass.)
Thomas, Edward Law
Vineyard Gazette (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.)
Wood, Allen F.
Wood, Howard M.
Wood, Nelson F., 1919-2009
Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamship Authority
Charles W. Morgan (Bark)
Charles W. Morgan (Ship)
Eagles Wing (Steamer)
Gate City (Steamer)
Gay Head (Steamer)
Helen Augusta (Steamer)
Island Home (Steamer)
Marco Bozzaris (Steamer)
Martha's Vineyard (Steamer)
New Bedford (Steamer)
River Queen (Steamer)
- Sailors’ Series Lectures
- Lecture Series: Famine, Friends & Fenians
- February Vacation Week
- Lecture: Curators discuss Artist Albert Pinkham Ryder
- New Bedford Lyceum: Bob Woodward
- Second Half Lectures: Influential Women
- 2017 Members’ Trip
- Annual Family Activities
- Community Programs
- Annual Events
- Past Programs
- Exhibit Enhancements
- Discovery Center
- Herman Melville
- Captain Paul Cuffe