Michigan’s Boat-Building Industry, 1865-2000
An entertaining study of how Michigan put American boat building on the map
Michigan will always be known as the automobile capital of the world, but the Great Lakes State boasts a similarly rich heritage in the development of boat building in America. By the late nineteenth century, Michigan had emerged as the industry’s hub, drawing together the most talented designers, builders, and engine makers to produce some of the fastest and most innovative boats ever created. Within decades, gifted Michigan entrepreneurs like Christopher Columbus Smith, John L. Hacker, and Gar Wood had established some of the nation’s top boat brands and brought the prospect of boat ownership within reach for American consumers from all ranges of income. More than just revolutionizing recreational boating, Michigan boat builders also left their mark on history—from developing the speedy runabouts favored by illicit rum-runners during the Prohibition era to creating the landing craft that carried Allied forces to shores in Europe and the Pacific in WWII. In Making Waves, Scott M. Peters explores this intriguing story of people, processes, and products—of an industry that evolved in Michigan but would change boating across the world.
Praise / Awards
"Complete with photographs, maps, and appendices that provide statistical information on production, employment, and geographic distribution of boat-builders, Making Waves
should have a place in every ship's library."
--Ross Coen, Michigan Historical Review
"Making Waves is certainly an important contribution to Great Lakes maritime research."
"Explores this intriguing story of people, processes, and products - of an industry that evolved in Michigan but would change boating across the world."
--Great Lakes Boating
Named a 2016 Michigan Notable Book
Winner of the 2016 Stuart D. and Vernice M. Gross Award
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