Herreshoff, John Brown, 1841-1915
John Brown Herreshoff was the Bristol-born elder brother and indispensable associate of Hall of Famer Nat Herreshoff. The Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, which built seven America’s Cup defenders from 1893 through 1934, was founded in 1878 by “JB” and Nat Herreshoff. This firm operated under JB’s direction for thirty-seven years.
JB lost one eye to disease at age 13 and the other by an accident a year later. Despite his blindness, he excelled as an administrator and possessed great business skills. For fifteen years prior to his formation of the Herreshoff Company he built boats on his own. JB’s early technical work on yachts, steam vessels, and torpedo boats for the U.S. Navy laid the foundation for the establishment of the Herreshoff Company and its world-wide renown.