Lobstering from an open boat with a gasoline engine and a torpedo stern. When this photograph was taken in 1949, this boat was obsolete. Square sterned boats were by then common, as were automobile-based gasoline engines and standing shelters to protect both engine and fisherman. Photograph from the Atlantic Fisherman collection.
This photo shows the great volume of lobstering activity in a small harbor like Friendship. A relatively modern lobster boat (for the 1950s) lies at the wharf. There are the usual piles of lobster traps and hanging buoys. A double-ender or peapod probably used as a tender lies at the ramp. In the anchorage are a number of open lobster boats, one with a canvas cover for the engine and what appears to be a Friendship sloop converted to power with a standing shelter where the cuddy once was forward.
Lobsterman getting traps ready in the spring. Traps have to be cleaned, dried, and repaired. This was especially hard work in the days of wooden traps, which rotted over time. Traps are being loaded onto a lobster boat that is just visible. A peapod is pulled out and set upside down on the nearby dock. Berry probaly took this photograph in New Harbor or Round Pond.
This photo shows something of the evolution of lobster boats in the mid 20th century, when some were open boats, like the one in the foreground, and some had spray hoods and deckhouses.
The open boat is a double ender, perhaps dating from the 1910-20 period and may have been hauled out to die. The spray hood visible on the second boat and several in the harbor became more common as boats got faster using converted automobile engines after World War II. By 1960, virtually all lobster boats had switched to a solid deckhouse.
Lobster boat in Bass Harbor, on the southwest corner of Mount Desert Island.
This photo shows an evolution in lobster boat design The boat at mooring on the right has only a canvas spray hood. The boat pulled up on shore has a combination spray hood and hard deckhouse, and the boat in the foreground has a more modern wooden deckhouse. The steadying sail keeps the boat from rolling in a sea while picking up traps. Today's lobster boats are much wider (beamier) so that they don't roll as much.
In the 1950s there were relatively few yachts on the Maine coast. Those that were here were all wooden like the lobster boat in the foreground. Lobstering was, as is now, a very important livelihood. Photograph by Carol Thayer Berry.