More than a hundred breathtaking photographs that transport us back to the lavish, romantic world of sailing and yachting in its heyday at the turn of the century. The pictures -- glass-plate images documenting sail and steam from the earliest days of popular photography in the 1880s up to 1905 -- portray pleasure boats at their most magnificent during the height of the Gilded Age, when the largest and fastest cutters and sloops battled for possession of the world's most coveted sporting trophy, and when every yacht was a one-of-a-kind handcrafted creation with its own personality. We see the Puritan with her breakthrough design (it won the America's Cup) . . . the schooner Casco, which sailed into fame when Robert Louis Stevenson and family chartered her for a six-month cruise of the South Seas . . . the 119-foot Dungeness, owned by Lucy Carnegie, sister-in-law of Andrew.
Here as well are photographs of catboats -- eminently seaworthy and delightfully uncomplicated . . . the Atalanta, a 233-foot steam yacht, owned by Jay Gould and manned by a crew of fifty-two (when Gould was blackballed because of his notorious financial dealings, he founded the American Yacht Club) . . . the Valiant, William K. Vanderbilt's 291-foot, 2,400-ton steamer, with a crew of sixty-two and more than twenty staterooms for family and friends . . . the Niagara -- graced by a Renaissance Revival drawing room 36 feet wide, a library, a photographic darkroom, and a recreation hall with an electrically operated orchestrion.
Sailing stories, racing stories, shipbuilding stories, stories of courage and peril -- brilliantly told in the entertaining and informative text by Ed Holm.
About Ed Holm
Ed Holm has been a photojournalist, a magazine and book editor, an art director, and an author and historian. He is a former officer in the U.S. Navy and a lieutenant commander (retired) in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He lives in Manheim, Pennsylvania.