Thatcher Magoun (clipper)

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Career (United States) 100x35px
Name: Thatcher Magoun
Owner: Thatcher Magoun and Sons, Boston
Builder: Hayden & Cudworth, Medford, MA
Career (Norway)  Norway
Renamed: Hercules
Fate: Reported lost off the coast of Africa in the early ‘80s. [1] Listed in 1882 RAFS. Not listed 1884. [2]
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 1248 tons OM, 1155 tons NM[3]
Length: 200 ft. OA
Beam: 40 ft.
Draft: 24 ft.[2]

The Thatcher Magoun, an extreme clipper launched in 1855, was named after Medford's great shipbuilder, Thatcher Magoun, who died the year that she was launched.


"Her figurehead was a life-like image of the father of ship building on the Mystic."[1]


"She made five passages from Boston to S.F., the fastest being 113 days and the slowest 152 days; seven from N.Y. to S.F., fastest 117 and slowest 149; two from Liverpool in 150 and 115 days. The average of the fourteen is 128.7 days. S.F. to NY. in 96 days in 1869."[1]

Shipbuilding career

"Magoun established the first shipyard in Medford. It was on Riverside Ave. (then called Ship Street) opposite the end of Park Street. In 1803 he laid the keel of his first vessel, the Mt. Aetna, the model of which he had made a few years before. He built ships here until 1836 and eventually his yard was to be the only one in Medford with a shiphouse. He built 84 vessels, and they made him a rich man. Magoun "specialized" in big ships and brigs, 250 tons and larger, built for the China trade. His reputation according to the maritime historian Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison was 'second to none among American shipbuilders.'"[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gleason, Hall (1937). Old Ships and Ship-Building Days of Medford. Medford, MA: J.C. Miller. p. 78. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Crothers, William L. (1997). The American-Built Clipper Ship, 1850-1856: Characteristics, Construction, Details. Camden, ME: International Marine. pp. xvii. ISBN 0070145016. 
  3. Bruzelius, Lars (2000-01-08). "Clipper Ships Built in the United States: Massachussets". The Virtual Maritime Archives. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 
  4. "Medford Historical Society, Medford Massachusetts". Medford-Built Sailing Ships. Medford Historical Society. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 

External links