Inductees in Craftsmen

  1. Luther H. Blount (1916-2006)

    Inducted in 1981

    Mr. Blount was a builder of fine coastal ships, oil exploration vessels, and hospital ships.  He also lead the revitalization of the state's oyster industry.

    Luther Blount began to show an inventive mind in childhood. Read more >

  2. Samuel Casey

    Samuel Casey (1724-1773)

    Inducted in 1998


    Casey, Samuel, 1724-approximately 1773

    Samuel Casey  was born in Newport, performed the craft of silversmithing in Exeter, Rhode Island, and, when his house burned down in 1764, relocated to what was known as Little Rest, better known to us as the village of Kingston. Casey was the most accomplished silversmith of early Rhode Island. His teapots, his creamers, tankards, and porringers are highly prized by collectors and are featured in all the top museums of the country that celebrate the skills of American colonial craftsmen. Casey’s works demonstrate the Queen Anne and Rococco styles, the first characterized by simple forms which relied on contour and plain surfaces with little decoration and the latter turned towards detail and surface ornamentation. Read more >

  3. William Claggett, Sr. (1696-1749)

    Inducted in 1998


    Claggett, William, 1696-1749

    William Claggett was born the son of a baker in England or Wales, and as a youth he migrated with his family to Boston.  He served an apprenticeship to clockmaker Benjamin Bagnall of Boston, and at age nineteen married Mary Armstrong in a ceremony presided over by Cotton Mather.  His son William, who also became a noted clockmaker, was born in 1715.

    By 1716 the young clockmaker and his family came to Newport where Claggett lived and worked for the next thirty-three years until his death in 1749. Read more >

  4. Nehemiah Dodge

    Nehemiah Dodge (1775-1856)

    Inducted in 1965

    Nehemiah Dodge,1769-1843 was a pioneering Rhode Island industrialist whose craft was that of "manufacturing jeweler". He is generally regarded as the principle founder of Rhode Island's costume jewelry industry. His most famous apprentice was Jabez Gorham (1792-1869), founder of the internationally renowned Gorham Manufacturing Company. Read more >

  5. Congressman John E. Fogarty

    Congressman John E. Fogarty (1913-1967)

    Inducted in 1967

    Congressman John E. Fogarty, 1913-1967, was one of Rhode Island's longest serving congressmen. He was elected to the U.S. Read more >

  6. John Goddard (1724-1785)

    Inducted in 1973

    Mr. Goddard was an early Amercan cabinetmaker and the nation's first furniture craftsman. He was the originator of block front knee-hole desks and secratary's desks.

    John Goddard was the son of Daniel Goddard, a house carpenter from Massachusetts. Read more >

  7. John Gorham

    John Gorham (1820-1898)

    Inducted in 2009


    Gorham, John, 1820-1898

    John Gorham was born in Providence on November 18, 1820. He was the eldest son of Jabez Gorham who had established himself as a leading manufacturer of silverware and jewelry in Providence in the 1830s. 

    John began his apprenticeship in 1837 and in 1841, at the age of 21, he became a partner in his father’s business which then became known as J. Gorham & Son. Read more >

  8. Nathanael G.

    Nathanael G. "Nat" Herreshoff (1848-1938)

    Inducted in 1965

    Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, 1848-1938, was a world-renowned Bristol boatbuilder who teamed with his blind brother John Brown Herreshoff to build a series of world famous racing yachts that dominated the America's Cup competition from 1893 through 1934. "Captain Nat" and his Herreshoff Manufacturing Company also built luxury yachts, cruising sailboats, and America's first torpedo boat in 1876. Read more >

  9. Halsey C. Herreshoff (1933-)

    Inducted in 1999

    Halsey Chase Herreshoff  is a Naval Architect of production- and custom yachts, sailor and former president of Herreshoff Marine Museum. Halsey is best known for his career as an America's Cup sailor, having served on many cup defenders of the 12-metre class Era, first as bowman on Columbia in 1958 and concluding as navigator on Liberty in 1983.

    A member of the famous yacht building Herreshoff family. His father, Sidney DeWolf Hereshoff, was the son of Nathanael Greene Hereshoff, who designed America's Cup winning racing yachts in the Gilded Age. Read more >

  10. Charles I. D. Looff

    Charles I. D. Looff (1852-1918)

    Inducted in 2005

    Charles I.D. Looff (1852-1918)  is considered the first of the great American carousel builders having created 17 of them during his long career--some of which was spent living and working in Riverside, Rhode Island.

    Charles I. Read more >

  11. John Aldrich Saunders, Jr. (1808-1882)

    Inducted in 2007

    John Aldrich Saunders, Jr. (1808-1882) was the central figure, chronologically and symbolically, of the noted South County family of boat builders, marine entrepreneurs, and seamen. He was born in Newport, the grandson of Stephen Saunders, a shipwright, and the son of Captain John Aldrich Saunders (1786-1832), who built one of the first three-mastered schooners and discovered that the buttonwood tree provided the best wood for a ship's keel. In all, Captain Saunders, Sr. Read more >

  12. Samuel Slater

    Samuel Slater (1768-1835)

    Inducted in 1965

    Samuel Slater, 1768-1835, an English-born textile operative and inventor, has been called the "Father of American Manufacturing". He migrated to Rhode Island from Derbyshire in 1789, and, in concert with Rhode Island investors and craftsman, built and activated spinning frames at Pawtucket Falls that were modeled on those of English inventor Richard Arkwright. On December 20, 1790, he spun cotton yarn from water powered machinery for the first time in America. Read more >

  13. John Townsend (1733-1809)

    Inducted in 1998

    John Townsend (1733-1809) was only one of at least 18 family members in an extended three-generation family of Townsends and Goddards who crafted the famed Newport style of American furniture from 1740 to 1840.  Other famous members of their Quaker clan, who lived and worked in the Point section of Newport, were John Goddard, Joseph, Jr., and Christopher Townsend.

    Newport was the destination of many cargoes of fine mahogany woods from Honduras and Santo Domingo. Read more >

  14. Daniel Berkeley Updike (1860-1941)

    Inducted in 2010

    Considered by many, one of the three greatest American printers, Daniel Berkeley Updike was born in Providence on February 14, 1860. He was a descendant of Richard Smith, one of the earliest settlers of North Kingstown, and his family owned extensive tracts of land in the Wickford area, most notably Cocumscussoc. Updike attended private school and worked for a time at the Providence Athenaeum. It was here, perhaps, that he developed an appreciation for the art of fine printing. Read more >



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