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Unpublished manuscripts of John E. Cayford

Identifier: SpC MS 1803-sc

Scope and Contents

Unpublished works by John E. Cayford. Includes a manuscript of "The Ill-Fated Penobscot Expedition and Naval Engagement" (1966), a draft of "Maine Firsts," a talk to new diving students, and a "History of the Brewer Public Library" (1975).


  • 1966-1975


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions Governing Use

Rights assessment remains the responsibility of the researcher.

Biographical Note

John E. Cayford, author, lecturer and historian, passed away peacefully Oct. 7, 2007, after a long illness. He was born Nov. 22, 1930, in Brewer, the son of John C. and Pearl G. (Robinson) Cayford. John graduated from Bangor High School and attended the University of Wisconsin and the University of Maine in Orono, majoring in journalism and science. During the Korean War, he served as an Armed Forces photojournalist, supplying articles for military and civilian newspapers throughout the United States and 26 allied nations. He was a master diver and associated with International Undersea Services, I.U.S. As president of I.U.S., his underwater work was varied and complex, including the underwater work for the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge and the Bluenose Ferry docks in Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He worked for Eastern Maine Medical Center for almost 30 years as a boiler engineer, until his retirement in January 2000. John was a Maine historian and authored many books on the subject. He also wrote numerous articles about diving and shipping. His articles appeared in magazines such as, Down East, American Heritage, Sea Classics, Muzzle Blasts, New England Galaxy, World Construction, Maine Life and Soundings Magazine, plus many others in the United States as well as foreign publications. He also wrote “Underwater Work,” “Underwater Logging,” “The How-To Book of Skin and Scuba Diving,” “The Penobscot Expedition,” “Fort Knox Fortress in Maine,” “Maine Firsts,” “All About Maine” and “Great Maine Men,” to name a few. He was an active member of the Smithsonian and Naval History Foundation, Washington, D.C.; North American Society of Oceanic History; Maine Divers Association, technical advisor; National Divers Association, advisor; past president, Brewer (Maine) Historical Society and Brewer Public Library. The last lecture he gave was at Fort Knox, his favorite Maine historical site. Many of the treasures he found while diving the Penobscot River have been donated and are on exhibit in museums throughout the State of Maine. (from Bangor Daily News,; accessed 6/6/2022)


2 folders

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Katherine Cayford Wiswell, Theresa Cayford Cunningham, Valerie Cayford Carlson, Desiree Cayford Carlson, and families.

Guide to the Unpublished manuscripts of John E. Cayford
No Additional Box Or Folder List For This Small Collection
Elizabeth Russell
June 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States