Ships’ Plans from HAMMS, the Historic American Merchant Marine Survey

16-72 Crowley 21 2-4

An example HAMMS drawing

I’ve previously written about the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), which seeks to document all kinds of historic engineering objects– but especially structures and ships. A forerunner of HAER is HAMMS, theHistoric American Merchant Marine Survey. HAMMS was a New Deal project intended to employ marine architects and surveyors. Much has been written elsewhere of HAMMS, and one of its biggest champions, Howard I. Chapelle, so I’ll only mention that it lasted about 18 months, 1936-1937, and yielded drawing sets for over 400 vessels, large and small.

The HAMMS collection is a wonderful resource for historians and ship modelers, but there’s a problem. Unlike the HAER works, which are indexed online and are freely available for download from the Library of Congress, the HAMMS material is held tightly by the Smithsonian and is by no means free.

I’ve posted some examples of HAMMS plans to give you an idea of what’s available… follow the link to the article:





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Filed under Marine History, Model Ship Building

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