Lecture: “The Steam Launch EAGLE” by Sandy Lee

December 13, 2022 5:30 pm



 Herreshoff Manufacturing Company’s underappreciated steam era (1878-1892) is the foundation for HMCo’s period of intense innovation (1891-1903) and later sailing yachts. Launch #199 for USS EAGLE is an important exhibit for telling these stories. We’ll discuss key elements of innovation and development of HMCo capabilities; driving force of the Gilded Age and emergence of U.S. on global stage; the important role of key customers; some wonderful, delightful steam stories; and educational insights.  

For a dozen years now, Sandy Lee has led a team of volunteers and local artisans - first building a 1/6th scale 37’ tall fine-scale model of 1903 Reliance, Capt. Nat’s apex predator and America’s Cup winner; then restoring 1892 Wee Winn, an English half-rater in which Miss Winifred Sutton won 21 of 22 races and the English title; and finally building replica 1899 28’ steam launch for USS EAGLE, a gunboat and survey vessel. 

What began as quest to understand how Herreshoff Manufacturing could launch RELIANCE 177 days after receipt of order and deliver her race-ready in 194 days while also building 36 other steam and sail vessels over the 300 days of RELIANCE’s life, began an exploratory journey back in time seeking the foundations and development of capabilities and process of continuous successful innovation that would ultimately enable delivery of RELIANCE. It would be a journey back from RELIANCE to WEE WINN at the beginning of the decade of intense innovation to that earlier steam era. 

A second presentation February 2023 will discuss the decade of WEE WINN, the bulb-fin keel boats, and other wooden sailing craft; and final presentation follows in April to RELIANCE. 

December 13, 2022

In-Person Reception begins at 5:30 pm*
Lecture begins at 7 pm Eastern, at the Second Floor Hall in the Historical HMCo. Machine Shop (26 Burnside Street)

Purchase tickets below:
Virtual Tickets: Members: $10, Non-Members: $15
In-Person Tickets: Members: $15, Non-Members: $20
Save $5. Support the Museum. Become a Member today.

*A special reception will be hosted at the Steam Exhibit at 5:30pm to thank the volunteers who dedicated their time and hard work to build EAGLE.