GLMS 37 - Emmett R. Dowdell Collection
|Title||GLMS 37 - Emmett R. Dowdell Collection|
|Introduction||This collection was donated to the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes on May 3, 1976 by Joseph Hentges. Literary and property rights were dedicated to the public. Photocopying is permitted for purposes of research and conservation.|
|Biographical Sketch||Emmett R. Dowdell was born April 5, 1891 in Lorain, Ohio. Dowdell began a career sailing on commercial Great Lakes vessels c.1910. The selection of scrapbook items in this collection notes that Dowdell achieved ratings for oiler and wheelsman. Emmett and Blanch Dowdell were married July 7, 1924 and retired in Escondido, California, in the 1950s. Emmett Dowdell died in 1976.|
|Scope and Content|
This one cubic foot collection contains pictorial and printed material regarding the Great Lakes sailing career of Emmett R. Dowdell and his leisure activities after retirement. Two scrapbooks form the largest series in the collection. Volume 1 contains photographs, clippings, postage stamps, greeting cards, and brochures spanning the years 1860-1976. Most items are of twentieth century origin. The subjects of these items include views of vessels on which Dowdell was employed and other Great Lakes freighters. Street scenes in Lakewood and Lorain, Ohio show buildings, sporting events, and the Lorain harbor.
Greeting cards and brochures form a large portion of scrapbook one and reflect holiday greetings and vacation plans form Dowdell's personal life. The cards offer researchers with an interest in American popular culture a view of the conventional forms of expressing get well, holiday, and birthday wishes from the 1950s to the 1970s. Brochures offer information on popular leisure activities and travel destinations.
The second scrapbook is more narrowly focused on events in November 1958 surrounding the sinking of the CARL D. BRADLEY. All the clippings in this volume relate to the BRADLEY and its crew.
Printed material not placed in the scrapbooks is similar to the bound items. Vacation literature and Great Lakes vessel information form this series. Items here date from 1913-1976.
A series of nine photographs not bound in scrapbook one completes the collection. Of significance here is a 1920 photograph of Emmett Dowdell on the deck of the VERONA with his crewmates.
Greeting cards appear in large numbers regarding events in Dowdell's life after retirement to Escondido, CA. Christmas, birthday, and get-well cards predominate.
Clippings, stamps, brochures, and other items reflect hobbies of Mr. Dowdell. Brochures from many vacation destinations provide interesting material on American leisure activities in the 1960s and the 1970s. Cruise ships and beach resorts are frequently the subject of the brochures.
Scrapbook two is entirely concerned with the sinking of the CARL D. BRADLEY in Lake Michigan during November of 1953. News clippings form the primary content of this scrapbook. Dowdell's hand written commentaries on reported defects in the BRADLEY present and experienced Great Lakes sailor's view on the disaster's cause.
Box 1: Scrapbooks