Sailors’ Series 2016

A Century of Design & Invention

March – April 2016

The 2016 Sailors’ Series illustrated lectures presented a wide variety of experiences and adventures by individuals with lifelong commitments to sailing, boats, and the sea. This year’s lineup celebrated over a century of design and invention in the marine industry. 



Each lecture started at 7:00 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater with a pre-lecture reception at 6:00 p.m. in the Jacobs Family Gallery.


Thursday, March 10

“The Herreshoff Legacy” by Kurt Hasselbalch, Curator, Hart Nautical Collections, MIT Museum


2016 marks the 150th anniversary of Nathanael G. Herreshoff’s enrollment at MIT. N.G.H. was perhaps the most successful of MIT’s early students and set the bar for all later graduates in naval architecture and marine engineering. The curator will give a talk about his extraordinary career and discuss MIT Museum plans for an exhibition and digital catalog based on the Herreshoff Legacy.


Thursday, March 24

Lagoda: A Favored Ship and Her Legacy” by Michael P. Dyer, Senior Maritime Historian, NBWM & Arthur Motta, Curator, Old Dartmouth & New Bedford History, NBWM

photograph of the Lagoda under construction

The whaling vessel Lagoda, purchased by Jonathan Bourne of New Bedford in 1841, was one of the most profitable whaling ships in Bourne’s fleet.  In 1916, Jonathan’s daughter Emily Bourne donated funds to build the Jonathan Bourne Whaling Museum building on Johnny Cake Hill, as well as the half-scale model of the Lagoda in memory of her father.  The unprecedented building project was under the able supervision of Edgar B. Hammond (1853-1937). A prominent local architect, builder and 5-term commodore of the New Bedford Yacht Club, Hammond threw himself into the project, researching every aspect of the work.  At 89 feet long, it was at the time and remains today, the largest ship model in the world.  Learn the engrossing history of both the whaling vessel and the ship model in this joint presentation by historian Michael Dyer and curator Arthur Motta.


Thursday, April 7

“The Rebirth of the Ernestina-Morrissey by Chester Brigham, Author, Phoenix of the Seas, Harold Burnham, Burnham Boat Building & David Short, Boothbay Harbor Shipyard

Photograph of Ernestina

Join author Chester Brigham, master shipwright David Short, and owner’s representative Harold Burnham as the recount the journeys,  travails and restoration of the Ernestina-Morrissey, State Ship of Massachusetts. The schooner, repeatedly written off as doomed, is now undergoing a hull rehabilitation at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in Maine, phase one of a complete restoration. Gain insights into this major project.




 Thursday, April 14

“Edson: 157 Years of Continuous Manufacturing in Massachusetts” by Will Keene, President, Edson Marine

compsite photograph of Edson Steering

Recognized as one of Massachusetts’ oldest continuously operating businesses, Edson Marine has a story full of passion, integrity, and continuous innovation. Edson began in 1859, with Jacob Edson’s invention of the diaphragm pump. From the worm-steering systems for 19th-century fishing fleets, to the invention of radial drive steering in the 1970s, and beyond, Edson’s president Will Keene will lead you through over a century of inspiring marine invention and manufacturing in this intriguing talk.



 Lecture Registration

Single Lecture: Members $15 / Non-Members $20
Series: Members $60 for all four / Non-Members $80 for all four


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Last modified: June 1, 2017