Maurice L. Freedman donated the plans and photos in the collection of the Fleet Library at RISD. Maurice was the district camoufleur
for the 4th district of the U.S. Shipping Board, Emergency Fleet Corporation. The Shipping Board is a precursor to today's Merchant Marines. The Navy gave dazzle plans to each Shipping Board district. Maurice's job was to take the plans and hire painters (artists, house painters) to paint the ships accordingly. If the plans needed to be adjusted, this was also his responsibility. According to one of the photos from our collection, the SS Everglades was the first ship launched in the U.S. already camouflaged July 29, 1918 in Florida.
Maurice came to RISD after the war and studied drawing and painting. He worked in Providence as a commercial artist. He came up with one of the first versions of the game Battleship. In the 1950s, he became the Assistant Art Director of Paramount Cards. In the early 1980s he passed away in Revere, Massachusetts.
Our collection consists of 455 plans (includes port and starboard sides of a ship) and 20 photos. There are 10 types of merchant ships represented with multiple designs for each of those ships.