Edward S. Clark / Sailing Craft of the Chesapeake Bay Collection - PP160

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society

Not dated and ca. 1941

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, January 2000 



The creator of this collection was Edward Story Clark (1894-1952) who worked in shipping in Baltimore and elsewhere. A Baltimore native, he moved in the course of his career to San Francisco, New York, and Boston. Clark was active in the Maritime Museum of the Maryland Historical Society, continuing his involvement even after leaving Baltimore.

The number and variety of small sailing vessels employed in the Chesapeake Bay region was partly due to the preponderance of creeks and estuaries navigable only by means of shallow draft vessels. Many later types derived from the log-canoe, itself an enlargement of the type of vessel carved out of a single log. The log-canoe was made from 3 to 5 logs, averaging 25-40 feet in length, and used with and without sharp sails, especially in tonging in the oyster industry.

The skipjack was a common type of sloop. As originally built in ca. 1815-1820, it was an open boat 30-50 feet in length, with a single sharp sail and a jib, a square stern and flat bottom. It may have derived from the log-canoe, although some detect an influence from the sharpie, as well. After the Civil War, a V-bottom form developed. In general, the skipjack could be produced at a lower cost than round-bottomed sloops.

The bugeye, so named because the craft handled so easily it could turn "in a bug’s eye", is thought to have resulted from an enlargement of the log-canoe. Developed in the Chesapeake between 1835 and 1850, the craft was common in oystering fleets of the 1870s and 1880s. By the 1940s, the 60 or 70 bugeyes remaining in the Chesapeake were used in the oyster trade or for transporting bulk cargoes such as fruits, vegetables, grain, and fertilizer.

The pungy was a sharp-keel schooner built for the oyster and fruit trade starting as early as the 1840s. The boat’s draft was 8 or 12 feet, limiting its usefulness to deep water oyster beds. By the 1930s, only six pungies remained afloat in the Chesapeake Bay, including Amanda F. Lewis and Wave.

The scow-sloop resembled a flat barge with square ends and one or two masts. Drawing only a foot to eighteen inches, it was developed especially for use in waters at the head of the Chesapeake Bay around the Susquehanna flats; it was typified by Elsie, built in 1875.

Collection Origin

Gift of Mrs. Edward S. Clark, 1955 (54401).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 1 box with 2 albums containing 72 photoprints along with clippings and printed ephemera. All deal with various sailing craft on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The photographs are undated or made in ca. 1941. The clippings and ephemera include published articles, maps, and illustrations, undated or dated 1911-1950.

The sailing craft represented include bugeyes, scow-sloops, pungies, flatties, schooners, ram schooners, skipjacks, and log-canoes. Captions for most of the vessels include a date and geographic location where the vessel was built. The craft are depicted under sail, in dry dock, and at docks. Maryland locations depicted include Baltimore’s harbor, Curtis Bay, Cambridge, St. Michaels, Georgetown, Oxford, and Crisfield.

Note: Album 1 contains chiefly photoprints with a few non-photographic items; Album 2 contains chiefly clippings and ephemera with 1 photograph. The span dates for the Prints and Photographs Collection refer only to the photographs.


The photographs remain in the albums, and have been given sequential PP catalog numbers.

Container List

1 Box

Box 1: 2 Albums

Album 1
28 x 23 cm.; 53 p.; chiefly photographs with a few clippings; 71 photoprints. Spine label reads: U.S. Chesapeake Bay. Photographs are undated unless otherwise noted.

PP160.1 – Thomas Blades or Martin Sylvester and Weldon or Sparkling Sea or John C. White, St. Michaels, Md., 1908. Photograph is in envelope, loose at the front of the album. Photograph by William G. Boettinger of Baltimore.

PP160.2 – Chesapeake Bay craft at anchor, Baltimore, Md. Includes bugeye Pinta, and unidentified pungies and bay sloops.

PP160.3 – Baltimore waterfront.

PP160.4 – Smith’s Yard, Curtis Bay, Baltimore, Md.

PP160.5 – Pungy Amanda F. Lewis.

PP160.6 – Wave.

PP160.7 – Pungy Wave.

PP160.8 – Ida B. Conway.

PP160.9a-b – Ida B. Conway, 1941. 2 items.

PP160.10 – Levin J. Marvel, ram schooner.

PP160.11-.12 – Edward R. Baird, Jr., ram schooner. 2 items.

PP160.13a-e – Ram schooners: Edward R. Baird, Jr.; unidentified; Mabel and Ruth; Grace G. Bennett; said to be Levin J. Marvel. 5 items.

PP160.14 – Bugeye Richard J. Vetra and schooner Elsie M. Reichert at Smith’s Yard, Curtis Bay, Baltimore, Md.

PP160.15 – Sloop Mattie B. Sheppard.

PP160.16 – Skipjacks at Cambridge, Md.

PP160.17 – Skipjack Rebecca T. Ruark hauled out, Baltimore, Md., 1941.

PP160.18 – Skipjack in Baltimore.

PP160.19a-d – Skipjacks. 4 items.

PP160.20 – Skipjack Ringgold Brothers.

PP160.21 – Oyster schooners and bugeyes, Baltimore, Md., 1941.

PP160.22 – Unidentified (includes Minnie May?), ca. 1941.

PP160.23 – Austrialia.

PP160.24a-c – Australia; scow-sloop Elsie; unidentified Chesapeake ram schooner. 3 items.

PP160.25a-d – Scow-sloop Elsie. 4 items.

PP160.26a-e – Chesapeake Bay schooners: Baltimore docks, 1941; anchored off Annapolis, 1941; Thomas B. Cator; discharging lumber, Baltimore, Md.; Georgetown, Md. 5 items.

PP160.27a-c – Schooner Caradora, details. 3 items.

PP160.28 – Schooner Columbia F.C.

PP160.29a-b – Smith K. Martin. 2 items.

PP160.30 – Lola E. Bennett.

PP160.31 – Preston Lewis.

PP160.32a-b – Bugeye A.E. Parks. 2 items.

PP160.33a-d – Bugeye Brown, Smith and Jones. 4 items.

PP160.34 – Bugeye M.M. Davis and skipjack Fannie Daugherty.

PP160.35 – Bugeye M.M. Davis.

PP160.36 – Unidentified.

PP160.37 – Edith F. Todd.

PP160.38a-b – Edith F. Todd.

PP160.39a-c – Bugeye Edith F. Todd, details. 3 items.

PP160.40 – Bugeye Russell A. Wingate.

PP160.41-42 – Log-canoe, unidentified. 2 items.

PP160.43 – Bateau or flattie, Crisfield, Md.

PP160.44 – Steamer Peconic.

Album 2
28 x 23 cm.; 97 p.; chiefly clippings and ephemera with 1 photograph. Spine label reads: U.S. Chesapeake Bay.

PP160.45 – Skipjack E.C. Collier, Oxford, Md., 1948. Photograph by R.H. Burgess. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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