HMCo #183p Item



Construction_Record_Title.jpgName: Item
Later Name(s): Palos [II] (1901-)
Type: High speed steam launch
Designed by: NGH
Contract: 1895-9
Launch: 1896-6-30 ?
LOA: 45' 6" (13.87m)
Beam: 8' 8" (2.64m)
Draft: 3' 11" (1.19m)
Displ.: 22,000 lbs (9,979 kg)
Propulsion: Steam, Herreshoff, Triple exp., 3 cyl. (4" & 6 1/2" & 10" bore x 8" stroke)
Boiler: Square Water Level
Propeller: Diameter 32"
Built for: Herreshoff, N. G.
Last reported: 1906 (aged 10)

Note(s): Vessel information is primarily but not exclusively from the HMCo Construction Record. Supplementary information when not cited here usually appears elsewhere in this record with a complete citation.
"In the absence of better available data displacement was estimated by using the figure for Gross Register Tons (11) from the 1905 Lloyd's Register of American Yachts (Net Register Tons were reported as 7.77) and converting to lbs by dividing through 2000 (short tons). Note that this figure can only be a rough estimate because register tons as reported in Yacht Registers correlate only loosely with actual displacement figures." (Source: van der Linde, Claas. March 17, 2015.)


Model #27

Model number: 27
Model location: H.M.M. Model Room East Wall

Vessels from this model:
6 built, modeled by NGH
#128p [Launch for U.S.S. Chicago] (1885)
#183p Item (1896)
#250p Tuza [Seashell] (1906)
#252p Waneche [Waneeche. Tender for #631s Dahinda] (1906)
#253p Tautog (1906)
#258p Idle Hour (1907)

Original text on model:
"No. 128 USS CHICAGO launch
No. 183 ITEM 1896 stern built out
No. 250 1905 SEASHELL
No. 252 1906 WANEECHE
No. 253 1906 TATAUG No. 258 1906 IDLE HOUR" (Source: Original handwritten annotation on model. Undated.)

Model Description:
"#128 39'6" steam launch for USS Chicago. Also, with modifications, #183 Item, 45'6" steamer of 1895, #252 Waneeche and #253 Tautog, 40'3" gasoline launches of 1906, and #258 Idle Hour, 41'3" gasoline launch of 1906." (Source: Bray, Maynard. 2004.)

Note: Vessels that appear in the records as not built, a cancelled contract, a study model, or as a model sailboat are listed but not counted in the list of vessels built from a model.


Offset booklet number(s): HH.4.16

Offset booklet contents:
#128, #250, #252, #253, #258, overhanging stern built on to #18[3] [#183p, canoe [#188601es] for G. G. King [various launches].

Source: Hasselbalch, Kurt with Frances Overcash and Angela Reddin. Guide to The Haffenreffer-Herreshoff Collection. Francis Russell Hart Nautical Collections, MIT Museum, Cambridge, Mass., 1997, p. 32-43.

Raw Offset Info Database Entry

Microfilm Reel No. (Hart Nautical Offset Info): HAFH.4.1B
Box No. (Hart Nautical Offset Info): HAFH.4.1B
Acc. No. (Hart Nautical Offset Info): HH.4.16
Vessel Descr. (Hart Nautical Offset Info): #128, #250, #252, #253, #258, overhanging stern built on to #18[3], canoe for G. G. King [various launches]


Nathanael G. Herreshoff

"[1896-06-30] Tue 30: Launched str #184 Item [sic, i.e. #183p. #184p would have been the torpedo boat Porter].
[1896-07-02] Thu 2: Tried Item [#183p]. ...
[1896-08-04] Tue 4: Launched Item [#183p] after building out stern.
[1896-08-05] Wed 5: Went with family in Item [#183p] to see NYYC fleet come in.
[1896-08-09] Sun 9: Off with family & Chas. Corliss[?] in Item [#183p] all day.
[1896-08-13] Thu 13: Went to torpedo station in Item [#183p].
[1896-08-16] Sun 16: Went to Westport in Item [#183p] with family.
[1896-08-30] Sun 30: Went to Westport in Item [#183p] with family.
[1896-09-15] Tue 15: Went to Newport in Item [#183p].
[1896-09-17] Thu 17: Went to Castle Hill in Item [#183p]. ...
[1896-09-20] Sun 20: Went to Beacon Hill in Item [#183p].
[1896-09-27] Sun 27: Went to [?] and Newport in Item [#183p].
[1896-10-15] Thu 15: Hauled out Item [#183p] at cove. ..." (Source: Herreshoff, Nathanael G. Diary, 1896. Manuscript (excerpts). Mystic Seaport Museum Collection. Manuscripts Division, call number VFM 1555.)

"My Own Boats. Except a few that will be mentioned as half-owner. ...
1896 ITEM #183 was completed from a 40 ft. hull begun for a duplicate of U.S.S. CHICAGO #128 launch. She was about 48'o.a. being added to aft from a square stern and fitted with a triple expansion engine. She belonged to the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, and was used by me for my own use for 1 1/2 years or until having decided to change over to #188 [Squib] and after selling ITEM. Engine 4 1/2 - 7" x 11 1/4" x 7"." (Source: Herreshoff, N. G. "My Own Boats. Except a few that Will be Mentioned as Half-Owner." Bristol, (originally compiled 1892 with additions in 1929). In: Pinheiro, Carlton J. (ed.). Recollections and Other Writings by Nathanael G. Herreshoff. Bristol, 1998, p. 116.)

L. Francis Herreshoff

"His next steamer was named 'Item,' built in 1896, building No. 183. She was forty-eight feet long and had a darling little triple expansion engine with bores of four and one half inches, seven inches and eleven and one-fourth inches, and stroke of seven inches. This launch had a good size cockpit aft and was the first steamer the author remembers sailing in. She ran at about fourteen miles an hour." (Source: 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, p. 118.)

Other Contemporary Text Source(s)

"The new government steam launch which was put overboard at Herreshoff's yesterday, was given a trial trip in the harbor in the afternoon. James T. Robertson was the engineer, and Capt. Nat. Herreshoff was at the helm. The launch is about 45 feet overall, and 37 feet on the water line. She is built of mahogany. [This is apparently a reference to #183p Item, which, however, was apparently not build for the government and is described by NGH in his diary to have been launched on June 30, 1896 (although that may have been a second launch).]" (Source: Anon. "News and Notes of Local Interest." Bristol Phoenix, May 22, 1896, p. 2.)

"[Account of a match race between the Item and the steam launch Sally.]" (Source: Anon. "Sally - Item Match Race." Rudder, November, 1899, p. 431-432.)

"Herreshoff Steam Launch Sold. --- The Herreshoff-built launch Item has been sold through the agency of Huntington & Seaman to H. B. Lothrop of Detroit, Mich. The Item was built in 1899, is 60-feet long, and has a speed of 18 miles an hour." (Source: Anon. "Herreshoff Steam Launch Sold." New York Times, April 25, 1901, p. 10.)

"The undersigned offers for sale, for cash, ..., the property of the late Henry B. Lothrop.
Steam Yacht 'PALOS,' 58 feet long, 9 feet beam, 4 feet deep. Built in 1896 by the famous Herreshoffs. Triple expansion engine, new Dearing boiler. Trunk cabin with toilet room forward, open cock pit with canopy top. Furnished with acetylene gas for cabin, cock pit, engine room and signal lights. Speed 14 miles an hour. Will run 150 miles on one ton of hard coal.
These boats are fully fitted out and can be ready to be put into commission upon an hour's notice. They can be seen during the day at the boat house, foot of Holcomb Avenue. Detroit.
FRED C. HARVEY, Executor of the Will of Henry B. Lothrop,
309-10 Moffat Building, Detroit, Mich. [With photo.]" (Source: Harvey, Fred C. "For Sale." Boating Magazine (Cleveland, Ohio), June 1906, p. 55.



1905 Lloyd's Register of American Yachts
Name; Former Name(s): Palos; Item
Owner: Henry B. Lothrop; Port: Detroit, Mich.
Official no. 100615; Building Material Wood; Type & Rig Scw Stm [Screw Steamer]
Tons Gross 11.00; Tons Net 7.77; Reg. Length 57.6; LWL 49.5; Extr. Beam 8.7; Depth 4.4; Draught 3.9
Builder Herreshoff Mfg. Co.; Designer N. G. Herreshoff; Built where Bristol, R.I.; Built when 1896
Engine T[riple]. 3 Cyl. 4, 6 1/2 & 10 x 8. 1 B[oiler] W[ater] T[ube]; Maker Herreshoff Mfg. Co. Dearing.

1906 Lloyd's Register of American Yachts (#2267)
Name; Former Name(s): Palos; Item
Owner: Henry B. Lothrop; Port: Detroit, Mich.
Official no. 100615; Building Material Wood; Type & Rig K[eel], CH [Cabin House], Scw Stm [Screw Steamer]
Tons Gross 11; Tons Net 8; LWL 49-6; Extr. Beam 8-9; Depth 4-5; Draught 3-11
Builder Her. M. Co.; Designer N. G. Herreshoff; Built where Bristol, R.I.; Built when 1896
Engine T[riple]. 3 Cyl. 4, 6 1/2 & 10 x 8. 1 B[oiler] W[ater] T[ube]; Maker Her. Mfg. Co. Dearing.

Source: Various Yacht Lists and Registers. For complete biographical information see the Herreshoff Catalogue Raisonné under Data Sources. Note that this section shows only snapshots in time and should not be considered a provenance, although it can help creating one.


From the 1920 and earlier HMCo Index Cards at the MIT Museum
  • Note: The vessel index cards comprise two sets of a total of some 3200 cards about vessels built by HMCo, with dimensions and information regarding drawings, later or former vessel names, and owners. They were compiled from HMCo's early days until 1920 and added to in later decades, apparently by Hart Nautical curator William A. Baker and his successors. While HMCo seems to have used only one set of index cards, all sorted by name and, where no name was available, by number, later users at MIT apparently divided them into two sets of cards, one sorted by vessel name, the other by vessel number and greatly expanded the number of cards. Original HMCo cards are usually lined and almost always punched with a hole at bottom center while later cards usually have no hole, are unlined, and often carry substantially less information. All cards are held by the Francis Russell Hart Nautical Collections of the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Mass.
From the 1931 HMCo-published Owner's List

Name: Item
Type: Steam
Length: 45'6"
Owner: Herreshoff Mfg. Co.

Source: Herreshoff Manufacturing Company. "A Partial List of Herreshoff Clients." In: Herreshoff Manufacturing Company. Herreshoff Yachts. Bristol, Rhode Island, ca. 1931.

From the 1930s L. Francis Herreshoff Index Cards at the Herreshoff Marine Museum
  • Note: The L. Francis Herreshoff index cards comprise a set of some 1200 cards about vessels built by HMCo, with dimensions and / or ownership information. Apparently compiled in the early 1930s, for later HMCo-built boats like the Fishers Island 23s or the Northeast Harbor 30s are not included. Added to in later decades, apparently by L. F. Herreshoff as well as his long-time secretary Muriel Vaughn and others. Also 46 cards of L. F. Herreshoff-designed vessels. The original set of index cards is held by the Herreshoff Marine Museum and permission to display is gratefully acknowledged.
From the 1953 HMCo Owner's List by L. Francis Herreshoff

Name: Item
Type: 57' 6" [sic, i.e. 45' 6"] steamer
Owner: Herreshoff Mfg. Co.
Year: 1896
Row No.: 314

Source: Herreshoff, L. Francis. "Partial List of Herreshoff-Built Boats." In: Herreshoff, L. Francis. Capt. Nat Herreshoff. The Wizard of Bristol. New York, 1953, p. 325-343.

From the 2000 (ca.) Transcription of the HMCo Construction Record by Vermilya/Bray

Year: 1895
E/P/S: P
No.: 183
Name: Item
OA: 45' 6"

Source: Vermilya, Peter and Maynard Bray. "Transcription of the HMCo. Construction Record." Unpublished database, ca. 2000.

Note: The transcription of the HMCo Construction Record by Peter Vermilya and Maynard Bray was performed independently (and earlier) than that by Claas van der Linde. A comparison of the two transcriptions can be particularly useful in those many cases where the handwriting in the Construction Record is difficult to decipher.

Research Note(s)

"Dimensions beam 8-8ft and draft 3-11ft from 1906 Lloyd's Register." (Source: van der Linde, Claas. March 24, 2015.)

Note: Research notes contain information about a vessel that is often random and unedited but has been deemed useful for future research.


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Citation: HMCo #183p Item. Herreshoff Catalogue Raisonné.