April 9, 1921 was a banner day for Donald MacMillan: his Arctic schooner Bowdoin was finally launched. In this image, the schooner is traditionally dressed with flags for the occasion. The American flag flies at her stern as she goes down the ways at Hodgdon Brothers Shipyard in East Boothbay.
The group of people aboard undoubtedly included MacMillan as owner and captain.
The schooner's masts, sails, engine and other gear would be added later. At 88 feet long, the wooden vessel was stoutly built with shallow draft for hugging the land and reducing the risk of grounding in northern waters that were largely uncharted at that time.
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