Model No. 100: Shadow and Undine

Model No. 100


Model by: NGH
Made when: November 1870
Stated model scale: 1/16
Model length (ca.): 27.1" (68.8cm)
Implied vessel LOA at 1/16 (ca.): 36' 1" (11.0m)
Power/Sail: S
Vessel Type: Sloop
Hull Configuration: Keel
Model location: H.M.M. Model Room South Wall Left

Vessels from this model:
2 built, modeled by NGH
#187106es Shadow (1870)
#187211es Undine (1872)

Original text on model:
"SHADOW 1871 Unbeaten for 15 years
UNDINE 1872 Scale 3/4" = one foot" (Source: Original handwritten annotation on model. Undated.)

Model description:
"33'6" lwl Shadow, keel/centerboard sloop of 1871, built by JBH." (Source: Bray, Maynard. 2004.)

Model discussion:
"SHADOW. --- Mr. N. G. Herreshoff writes to the New Bedford Standard: 'My attention has been called to an article in your issue of Aug. 10 [1879] over signature of Lewis Temple, in which the invention of the yacht Shadow's lines is claimed for Dr. Sisson. I am not usually swayed by what is printed in newspapers, nor do I think this claim, false as it is, will be credited by any yachtsman; but this seems a case where one's duty to the public and self demands that the truth should be known. I modelled the Shadow in each and every particular, and her then peculiar lines had been in process of development in my mind for more than a year before I knew that such a person as Dr. Sisson existed. One year before the Shadow was built I cut two preliminary ones of her same character --- notably a schooner yacht about 90ft. long, which model can now be seen. If I remember rightly her name, shadow, was suggested by Mr. John B. Hussey, of your city, some time before she was launched. It is true that there was a time of dissatisfaction on the part of Dr. Sisson when the Shadow was finished and about to be delivered. He at first refused to accept the yacht because her builders had departed so far from the usual type, or to use his words as I remember them, 'Were experimenting at his expense.'" (Forest and Stream, September 15, 1887, p. 154.)

"Dear Mr. Foster,
In reply to your interesting letter of the second [March 2, 1932], perhaps it will be necessary to go back into the '60's to trace the development of Shadow and Gloriana. My father always advocated boats of good displacement. His own boats, built for his own pleasure, were all vessels of the heavily ballasted keel type (1834-1860). So, when my brother John began building, the larger ones were with more than the prevailing amount of displacement. I was, therefore, brought up in that type, and I can remember, in my early racing, we always would defeat the shallower type from 'Up Sound' and New York as easily in light winds as in fresh ones. ...
Shadow was from a study model I made in the pattern shop of the Corliss Steam Engine Company in 1870 while I was employed as draftsman, after leaving 'Tech.' My idea at the time was to shape the hull so the ballast would be lower, have the bilges practially out of water so as to get easy lines when the vessel is upright, and great beam that would give stability when heeled in a breeze. My brother, and also my father, were well-impressed with the model so, when John had an order to build a yacht for a New Bedford doctor, it was decided to use this study model. At that time, the mention of placing ballast outside the hull was frowned upon, as it would surely make a vessel logy, and cause loss of rig if rough water is encountered. ...
Sincerely yours,
Nathanael G. Herreshoff" (Source: Herreshoff, Nathanael Greene. Letter to Charles H. W. Foster, dated March 6, 1932. Quoted in Foster, Charles H. W. The Eastern Yacht Club Ditty Box, 1870-1900. Norwood, Mass., 1932, p 139-141.)

"SHADOW. [She] was designed by me and [the] model [was] made at the Corliss Steam Engine Company pattern shop in November, 1870. [She was] built in the following winter by John for Dr. Sisson of New Bedford." (P. 106; Source: Herreshoff, N. G. "Boats and Yachts that I have been Especially Interested in by Sailing and Some of Which I Have Owned." Bristol, April 1932. In: Pinheiro, Carlton J. (ed.). Recollections and Other Writings by Nathanael G. Herreshoff. Bristol, 1998.)

"The most notable sailboat of his early design was the 'Shadow' which he made the model for in the pattern shop of the Corliss Steam Engine Company in November 1870. ... The principal reason 'Shadow' is famous is that she is considered the first of the so-called 'compromise yachts,' the type that Edward Burgess perfected in 'Puritan' and 'Mayflower.'
Around 1875 our American yachts were wide, shallow vessels while the English, under their tonnage rules which measured beam twice, had developed the so-called 'cutter model' which was deep and narrow. Typical sections of a cutter, an American sloop, and the 'Shadow,' shows that 'Shadow' was someway half between or what later was called a 'compromise type.' To be sure, 'Shadow' did not look very different above water from other American sloops of her time, but she was surely a shadow of coming events with her wine-glass sections below water. During the cutter-sloop controversy in the eighteen-eighties 'Shadow' was the only American yacht that held the imported English cutters.
During 'Shadow''s first years, Captain Nat sailed her in several important races, some of which he liked to review in after life. He used to say one of the reasons for her success was that she had a nearly perfect suit of sails made by Jonathan Alger, an old time Bristol sail maker. He did not seem to think the low, full gar-boards of 'Shadow' such a revolutionary feature, and when asked why he modeled her that way would say: 'simply to get her ballast lower.' (She had all inside ballast.) He would also sometimes say: 'Shadow' is a direct descendant of the old Narragansett Bay boats which carried their ballast low and frequently beat the shallower boats of New York.' However, I assume he thought a lot of the model of 'Shadow' for this was one of only two of his models on a backboard, and it also had a frame around the backboard." (P. 83-85; Herreshoff, L. Francis. The Wizard of Bristol. The Life and Achievements of Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, together with An Account of Some of the Yachts he Designed. New York, 1953.)

Related model(s):
Model 0028 by NGH (1880?); sail, not built
Shadow's Improvement: Sloop
Model 0100 by NGH (1870); sail, 2 built from
Shadow and Undine: Sloop



Herreshoff Catalogue Raisonné.
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Citation: Herreshoff Model 100 Shadow and Undine. Herreshoff Catalogue Raisonné. http://herreshoff.info/Docs/Model_0100.htm.