Tuesday, December 11th: The Herreshoff Brothers & Their Torpedo Boats: Bringing Innovation to the New Navy New Research & New Perspectives by John Palmieri, Curator Emeritus
In dedication to the late HMM Curator, Carlton J Pinheiro (1938-2000)
By the end of the Civil War the US Navy had amassed over 450 ships and was one of the most technically advanced in the world. What followed was 25 years of neglect as the indebted nation looked to westward expansion and southern reconstruction. By 1885 only 39 ships remained and technical staffs had been decimated. It was into this environment that the Herreshoffs brought innovation that helped to create what at the time was called the “New Navy”.
This is the story of the first four torpedo boats the Herreshoff Brothers delivered to the US Navy and also of some that were not built. More than an exposure of the technologies they offered, it explores the relationships between the Herreshoffs, key naval officials and the naval bureaucracy at large. (Photo: CUSHING (HMCo. #152) Torpedo Boat in 1890)