Higgins Boat Photo Album - Click on photographs to see a larger view.
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He had a strong feeling that there was going to be a war and the military would need lots of boats, so he bought a huge supply of mahogany wood.
Soon after, he was asked to build boats for the U.S. Army to be delivered up the Arkansas River. This was not easy because the river level was high and the water was filled with floating trash. His son, Edmond, realized that they needed a new kind of boat that could go through obstacles easily.
In 1930, Higgins built a workboat that could pass over floating logs, sea plants, trash, and sandbars without damaging itself. It was called the Eureka and was used by trappers and oil companies in the swamps and marshes of south Louisiana. It could move around in only 18 inches of water. Also, it could turn all the way around at full speed and go up a step-type concrete seawall of Lake Pontchartrain.
Higgins also developed the Wonderboat, his most successful design. It had a propeller built into a tunnel for protection. It could run full speed into riverbanks and sandbars without damaging its hull. He also built "pleasure crafts" that people used for enjoyment.