ABSTRACT: This is a collection of text materials related to river cruisers, houseboats, military efforts, and hydroplane racers.
EXTENT: over 2,000 items, including books, manuals, blueprints, and boat part catalogs.
HISTORY: This collection was donated by the family of Neil H. Whitehead, Jr., a river man who was an avid reader and collector of marine books and manuals. In 2001 this was the largest printed material collection donation to the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library, containing over 2,000 items, including books, manuals, blueprints, and boat part catalogs. Neil H. Whitehead, Jr. was born in 1919 in Louisville, KY and spent time as a young man on river cruisers, houseboats and as a riding mechanic for the hydroplane racer "Wild Bill" Cantrell. After serving as a corporal in the U.S. Army, Mr. Whitehead helped build ships for the war effort in World War II, was vice president and general manager of River Service & Supply (a subsidiary of American Barge Line Co.), and sold marine fuel, lubricants, and diesel engines in Louisville. He served on the boards of several waterways organizations, and was a charter member and president of the Port of Louisville Propeller Club. Neil H. Whitehead, Jr. passed away in 1997.
ACCESS: This is Special Collection P-16. This collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the collection may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, depending on condition. Researchers are advised to call ahead concerning changes in hours due to University intersessions and holidays. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building. More information about conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page.
Preferred Citation note: The preferred citation for this collection is "From the collections of the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.”