The Charles S. Neff Collection of Ship Drawings and Photos

Charles S. Neff was born in Oshkosh, WI in April of 1870 and died in Cleveland, OH in 1940. His father Samuel Neff had been involved in shipping on the Fox and Wolf Rivers but moved his business to Milwaukee about 1880 because he did not think he could compete with the railroads. He formed the Neff and Sons Shipping Company with his sons Sidney and Charles. After their father died they tried to keep the partnership going for about a year but then divided the assets and formed separate companies.

Charles lived during the time of sail, steam power and diesel power. He collected photographs and other material of historical interest. Some of his collection is in the Maritime collection of the Milwaukee Public Library. He also made drawings using color pencils and whatever paper that was at hand. Some were drawn from memory, others from life. Some of the original drawings were given to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, WI.

Color slides were taken of all of the drawings and Marcy Neff-Fisher, his daughter, prepared notes for each slide. Digital copies have been made of the slides and notes.

Digital copies of the slides and notes were made by Duane Clemmer the husband of Carolyn Neff-Clemmer and distributed to family members. I thought the material was of historical interest and sent a copy to Walter Lewis and he agreed to put them on the Maritime History of the Great Lakes website.

The link to the collection is [View]