David Crockett Steamship Collection, 1858-1986
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Brief Description:

The David Crockett Steamship Collection, 1858-1986 (bulk dates ca. 1910-1950) is divided into three series: I, David Crockett's (1928-1989) materials II, Jay Allen's materials and III, Millard Howarth's materials.  Photographs, negatives and postcards have been removed from all three series and are stored separately as PC-56 they have not been processed but are available for research.

            Series I, David Crockett's material, contains in the first general part correspondence, accounts,, his paper on the Kennebec, some sketches and drawings, his reference files and some material on the Steamship Historical Society of America.  The second major portion, primarily undated, consists of plans, notes, and articles for vessels he intended to model.  Sometimes the plans are to scale and other times they are simply sketches from Popular Science.  These files are arranged alphabetically by the name of the vessel.

            The next two sections contain most of the primary ephemera in the collection.  The first is steamship company ephemera, arranged by company name and dated wherever possible.  The second and slightly larger section is devoted to Eastern Steamship Co., one of the principal lines serving Maine.  There are many annual reports, cruise booklets and timetables here, as well as some special ephemera such as menus.  A great deal of the material in these two sections is stamped with Jay Allen's name and so was most likely collected by him.  After Crockett acquired Allen's collection, he must have incorporated various parts into his own.  Thus this Series contains Allen material as well as Crockett material, and it is impossible to separate them.

            The final section is news clippings arranged alphabetically by topic many are not dated.  The researcher is reminded that the photographs, etc. are stored as PC-56.

            Series II contains the papers of Jay Allen (1905-1975), in addition to those which Crockett apparently incorporated into his own.  The first general section contains some family and steamship correspondence, a few notes, and many newspaper articles by John M. Richardson of the Rockland Courier-Gazette about steamships and a few by Edward Rowe Snow about Maine.

            The second section contains all of Allen's correspondence, research, articles and news clippings extending over forty five years on the J. T. Morse (sidewheel steamer).  There is even material on several models he had of her.  Much of his research involved interviewing or corresponding with company officials, former officers and crew, and passengers who loved to reminisce about their particular steamship experiences.  Together it is a remarkable body of primary information.

            The third section includes Allen's more general files on specific steamships and is arranged alphabetically by the name of the vessel.  These files contain varied types of documents, ranging from newspaper clippings to ephemera to correspondence with officers, crew, passengers or friends to illustrations and articles.  The quality and quantity differ from folder to folder, with some of the better ephemera obviously having been removed by Crockett for his own files.

            The fourth section contains Allen's Steamship Historical Society of America files, and in particular his correspondence and notes for various issues of "Heard on the Fantail" in Steamboat Bill.  This includes a lengthy correspondence with Capt. Walter E. Scott of Bucksport, ME, a former steamboat captain.

            The final section of Allen's materials is miscellaneous files, including photocopies of materials held by his friend Allie Ryan, War [WW II] records of some coastal steamships, and material on the Coriolanus (bark).  Researchers are reminded that photographic materials have been removed to PC-56.

            The third series contains a few papers of Millard Howarth about whom nothing is known, except that he worked for Cumberland Shipbuilding Co., South Portland, ME, probably about the time of WW I.  Researchers are reminded that Howarth's photographic materials are stored as PC-56.

Held at:
Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog
243 Washington Street
Bath, ME 04530
Phone: 207-443-1316
extension 323
Email: garrison [at] maritimeme.org
Created by: Crockett, David (1928-1989), Allen, Joseph (Jay) (1905-1975), Howarth, Millard
Volume: 16.0 Boxes
Arrangement: The collection is arranged in three series: I: David Crockett (1928-1989); II: Joseph (Jay) Allen (1905-1975); III: Millard Howarth
Biographical Note for Crockett, David (1928-1989) :

David Crockett (1928-1989), the collector of this material, was a long-time fan of American steamships and an authority on Maine steamboating in particular.  In addition to the work he did as a volunteer over the years for the Steamship Historical Society of America, even serving as president, Crockett found time to start many models.  He collected plans and articles on many of these.  He wrote a paper Towboating on the Kennebec: a story of lumber, ice, and the Morse family for Maine Maritime Museum's 1975 symposium on American maritime history.  His collection of steamship company ephemera, especially for Eastern Steamship Co., is extensive.  He also collected hundreds of photographs and postcards of steamships and numerous news clippings.

            By profession Crockett was an electro-optics engineer with a degree in engineering physics from the University of Maine (1951) who worked for Honeywell Electro Optics outside Boston for many years.

            Among the papers in Crockett's collection are numerous pieces from his long-time friend and fellow steamboat buff Joseph (Jay, his professional name which he gradually adopted for all purposes) Allen, Jr. (1905-1975).  Allen's love affair with steamships apparently began at the age of one month when he was taken by steamboat from Boston (after a train ride from New York City) to Seal Harbor on Mt. Desert with his family for the summer.  [See Box 10/1.]  He spent as many summers as possible there at Grayrock for the rest of his life, traveling by steamship until it was no longer possible.  He held Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Harvard.  By profession he was a musician/ music teacher/ music librarian at the University of Illinois in Urbana.  There is an excellent obituary in Steamboat Bill, No. 136, Winter 1975, p. 195.

            Allen was involved in the formation of the American Steamship Historical Society and in 1935 of the Steamship Historical Society of America.  He was an active member, serving on the national Board for many years, as well as in the regional chapters.  He also co-founded in 1940 Steamboat Bill, later the magazine of S. H. S. A. and wrote a long series of columns called "Heard on the Fantail."

            His principal love, however, was the J. T. Morse (sidewheel steamer), a regular on the Boston to Mt. Desert run and one with which Allen was personally familiar.  As he was doing the research for his first article on the steamer in 1933-1934, he was lucky enough to be able to interview or correspond with company officials, former officers and crew, and myriad passengers.  He continued to research the Morse for the remainder of his life.

            Throughout his life he collected steamship ephemera, postcards, and photographs, often copying the latter from friends' collections.  Much of this kind of material was readily available when he first started it is now rare.  Whether he turned all this material over to his friend Crockett before his death is not known, but Crockett did incorporate it into his own material.

            Nothing is known about Millard Howarth, some of whose photographs are also included in this collection, or how Crockett acquired these photos.

Access Restrictions: <p align="center"> There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Subject Index
Allen, Joseph
Eastern Steamship Company
Howarth, Millard
Steamboat Bill
Steamboat lines
Steamship Historical Society of America
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: The material described herein is the physical property of the Maine Maritime Museum Library. Litereary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the various items, or to their legal representatives, or to Maine Maritime Museum. For further information, consult the library staff.
Acquisition Notes: Gift of Mrs. Renee Crockett, 1989, G89.31.
PreferredCitation: David Crockett Steamship Collection, MS-63, Research Library, Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, Maine