Tag: Craftsmen

John Townsend

John Townsend (1733-1809) was one of at least nineteen family members in an extended three-generation Quaker family of Townsends and Goddards who crafted the famed Newport style of American furniture from 1740 to 1840. Newport was the destination of many cargoes of fine mahogany woods from Honduras and Santo Domingo. Wealth created by Caribbean shipping

Read More »

Halsey C. Herreshoff

Halsey C. Herreshoff of Bristol, is an internationally renowned yachtsman, acclaimed America’s Cup competitor, and successful Naval Architect. He is the founder and former president of Herreshoff Marine Museum, which includes the America’s Cup Hall of Fame. He is also a prominent designer, widely recognized civic leader, author, lecturer, businessman, and longtime promoter of maritime

Read More »

Congressman Jonathan Hazard

Jonathan Hazard (1744-1825) was born to a Newport Quaker family in 1744. As a young man, he moved to rural Charlestown, became a small farmer, and worked as an itinerant tailor. He was passionately involved in the independence movement. During the Revolution, he served for a time as the paymaster of the Rhode Island regiment

Read More »

John Carter

John Carter (1745-1814) was born in Philadelphia in 1745, the son of Elizabeth Spriggs, and John Carter, a naval officer of Irish ancestry killed in battle two months before his son’s birth. During the late 1750s, Carter was apprenticed in the print shop of Benjamin Franklin and David Hall. In 1767, Carter moved to Providence,

Read More »

Seth Luther

Of all the Rhode Island leaders profiled herein, no person’s personal life was more erratic, peripatetic or tragic than that of Seth Luther. No one traveled through America as extensively or delivered more public addresses. No one lived in a more impoverished condition or fought as hard for the working class. Luther was born in

Read More »

Charles I. D. Looff

Charles I.D. Looff was an American master carver and builder of hand-carved carousels and amusement rides. During his lifetime, he built over 40 carousels, amusement parks, roller coasters, and Ferris wheels. He built the first carousel at Coney Island in 1876. One of his carousels inspired Walt Disney to build Disneyland and Disneyworld. Disneyland has

Read More »

John Aldrich Saunders Jr.

John Aldrich Saunders, Jr. (1808-1882) was the central figure, chronologically and symbolically, of the noted South County family of boat builders, marine entrepreneurs, and seamen. He was born in Newport, the grandson of Stephen Saunders, a shipwright, and the son of Captain John Aldrich Saunders (1786-1832), who built one of the first three-mastered schooners and

Read More »

Luther H. Blount

Luther Blount, 1916-2006, was a builder of fine coastal ships, oil exploration vessels, and hospital ships. He also lead the revitalization of the state’s oyster industry.

Read More »

John Gorham

Gorham, John, 1820-1898 John Gorham was born in Providence on November 18, 1820. He was the eldest son of Jabez Gorham who had established himself as a leading manufacturer of silverware and jewelry in Providence in the 1830s. John began his apprenticeship in 1837 and in 1841, at the age of 21, he became a

Read More »

John Goddard

John Goddard, one of the eighteenth century’s most famous and skilled Newport cabinetmakers, was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in 1723, the son of shipwright and housewright Daniel Goddard and Mary Tripp. Shortly after his birth, the Goddard family moved to Newport, where young John became apprenticed to cabinetmaker Job Townsend Sr. in the early 1740s.

Read More »

Gov. George Herbert Utter

George Utter was a U.S. Representative and the 49th Governor of Rhode Island. He served as an aide-de-camp to Governor Augustus Bourn from 1883 to 1885, following which he won election as a state Representative, serving for four years as Speaker for a time. He was Secretary of State from 1891 to 1894 and won

Read More »

Congressman John Edward Fogarty

My long-time friend, attorney Tom McAndrew of the large and influential McAndrew clan of Westerly, is also the son-in-law of the congressman. He married Mary Fogarty, John’s only child. Together, they have preserved the memory of Congressman Fogarty and continue supporting his good works through the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health

Read More »

Daniel Berkeley Updike

Daniel B. Updike, book designer, and printer, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on Feb. 24, 1860. He was the son of Caesar Updike, a lawyer and state representative, and Elizabeth Bigelow Adams. He was an only child born into an old, well-connected New England family. He was a descendant of Richard Smith, one of

Read More »

Milton Rawson Halladay

Throughout his long, storied career, Milton Rawson Halladay proved the adage, time and again: a picture is worth one-thousand words. One of the nation’s most popular cartoonists during the first half of the 20th century, Halladay’s drawings reflected the sentiments and the conscience of the nation on the crucial issues pertaining to the economic, moral,

Read More »

James C. Bucklin

Records say that Providence architect James C. Bucklin was a native of Pawtucket, but in view of his family’s Rehoboth origins, the place of his birth on July 26, 1801, was probably on the east side of the Blackstone, an area not acquired by Rhode Island until 1862. His parents were James and Lorania (Pearce)

Read More »

Samuel Slater

More than anyone, Samuel Slater pioneered the making of modern Rhode Island. This so-called Father of the Factory System was the catalyst for the economic transformation that gave Rhode Island its salient characteristic – an industrial order that dominated the state’s economy from the early nineteenth century until the dawn of the present postindustrial era.

Read More »

Nehemiah Dodge

Nehemiah Dodge, 1769-1843 was a pioneering Rhode Island industrialist whose craft was that of “manufacturing jeweler”. He is generally regarded as the principle founder of Rhode Island’s costume jewelry industry. His most famous apprentice was Jabez Gorham (1792-1869), founder of the internationally renowned Gorham Manufacturing Company.

Read More »

Nathanael G. “Nat” Herreshoff

Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, 1848-1938, was a world-renowned Bristol boatbuilder who teamed with his blind brother John Brown Herreshoff to build a series of world famous racing yachts that dominated the America’s Cup competition from 1893 through 1934. “Captain Nat” and his Herreshoff Manufacturing Company also built luxury yachts, cruising sailboats, and America’s first torpedo boat

Read More »

Samuel Casey

Samuel Casey (1724-1773) was born in Newport, the descendant of Thomas Casey, an Irishman who allegedly fled his country in the 1640s to escape English persecution. Little is known of Casey’s early life or his training for the craft of silversmithing other than an apprenticeship to Jacob Hurd in Boston. In 1745, he was admitted

Read More »

William Claggett Sr.

William Claggett (1696-1749) was born in England or Wales, the son of a baker about whom little else is known. As a youth, he migrated with his family to Boston, served an apprenticeship to clockmaker Benjamin Bagnall, and at age nineteen, married Mary Armstrong in a ceremony presided over by Cotton Mather. His son William,

Read More »
Scroll to Top