Atlantic Fisherman magazine advertisement for the Knox Lobster Boat, built in Camden by Camden Anchor-Rockland Machine Co. The company built both the boat and the engine. The boat was sold for use as a lobster boat and for hand trawling. Small engines had been available to fishermen starting in the early years of the 20th century; by 1907 they were common, and boats were being adapted for them. This advertisement is from page 2 of the July 1921 issue, the first year that the Atlantic Fisherman, the nation's first fisherman's magazine, was published.
The early powered lobster boats were open launches or power dories. This image dates to around 1905 and looks to have a double-ended reverse stern popular in recreational launches of the time. This boat might do 7 to 10 miles an hour, a far cry from today's boats, but they could operate in a calm with much less work than rowing. The steadying sail helps keep the boat from rolling while hauling traps.
The Muscongus Bay sloop was a very popular inshore fishing (hand lining) and lobstering boat type in mid-coast Maine in the mid 19th century. Locally called sloop boats, small ones like this evolved into larger sloop boats, thirty feet or so long, commonly called Friendship sloops as many were built in Friendship. This boat has Bristol on her trailboard which may indicate her town.
This image is from G. Brown Goode's The Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, 1884-1887. This book can be found online at NOAA
Mark Wadsworth was one of Rockport's herring weir fishermen in the 1950s. Here he is dipping herring into his peapod or double -ender (which he built) for transfer to the herring carrier. Penobscot Marine Museum has one of his peapods, built for a summer family, in its collection. Wadsworth also lobstered from his peapod using an outboard on a bracket to help tend his traps
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.
Each warp or line coming up from a pot or two on the bottom of the sea ends at a lobster pot buoy on the surface. Originally these buoys were cut with a hatchet from a small spruce trunk. Once laths became available, fishermen could turn buoys from larger pieces of wood. Small wood shops could make them in quantity for sale. Now buoys are hard foam.