Yesterday, during happy Christmas celebrations, we heard that we had lost one of our RELIANCE family. Joe Bartram died peacefully Christmas Eve. He was our benefactor, key visionary, and best cheerleader.  Thank you, Joe!


RELIANCE really came alive after his visit last Spring. He intuitively understood that RELIANCE was much more than a model of the biggest America’s Cup winner- it would be an important exhibit as well. RELIANCE was to be representative of all Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. large racing yachts and an outstanding example of extreme yacht design, advanced materials, and light-weight engineering.  Equally important, Joe recognized that our research on RELIANCE was also answering the question: “Why was the HMCo. such an important high-tech manufacturing company in context of the American Industrial Revolution which still has great relevance to current high-tech firms?”


Joe Bartram understood that this Project was fundamental to the growth of the Museum and very important to the town. He was supportive of our efforts to involve Roger Williams University and local schools in key project tasks.  His emails and telephone calls personally gave me the strength to push through technical challenges and typical “lows” of such a complex undertaking. He understood that our model could become one of the most impressive models ever built, and that the Project would need a network of supporters beyond just the dozen volunteers actually working on RELIANCE.


As he became too ill to travel, he sent his many friends to visit and keep him abreast of our work. Importantly, they too became cheerleaders. In keeping with that sentiment, please come visit us. See Joe Bartram’s vision come to fruition. Become one of our global network of cheerleaders and supporters.




One of Joe Bartrams visits to The RELIANCE Project – (left to right) Mike Mirman, Joe Bartram, Sandy Lee, Bill Lawton

second image: Mike Mirman, Joe Bartram and Sandy Lee 

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