Preview: Boat Photos from Maynard Bray, Part 1

April 9, 2020

Avatar Maynard Bray

In 2013, I donated all of my black-and-white negatives (about 25,000, mostly boats) to Penobscot Marine Museum with the understanding that they’d be scanned and put up online so anyone could see them.

Scanning is well along, and posting is just beginning.

This first batch of about two hundred were mostly shot when I was in junior high school (about 1947 and 1948) while my pal Don Merchant and I were haunting Rockland, Maine’s waterfront and our less geeky classmates were playing sports. Snow Marine Basin was then being created on Crocketts Point, across from where the Maine State Ferry terminal is presently located, and we hung out there, eagerly helping, immersing ourselves in boats, and taking photos.

Fish processing in Rockland made for a working waterfront that fascinated us: its draggers, lobster smacks, and sardine carriers became so familiar that we knew which ones were in port just from seeing their mastheads as we pedaled our bikes down Sea Street.

Don’s photos are also at PMM (collection LB2013.13), and by viewing his and my collections together you’ll get a good idea of what was going on along that waterfront in the days following the Second World War when fish were plentiful and yachts were few.

If you search for PIXIE/EAST WIND, PENOBSCOT, SEA WOLF, LELA, ALLSTON E., NABBY, CUCKOO, or BRUTAL BEAST, you’ll find what our own boats or the ones we used looked like. The steam lighter SOPHIA and the little tug HUGH were special to us even though they were on their last legs at the time. Search on Snow Marine Basin and you’ll begin to understand why both Don and I chose maritime professions.

My obsession with Herreshoff began with DELIGHT, VENTURA, COCKATOO, and JOYANT, discovered after Anne and I were married and moved to Mystic, Connecticut.

To view all of this batch, click here.


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