Captain Howard Blackburn of Gloucester MA

Our Name

We were inspired by the true story of Captain Howard Blackburn, a halibut fisherman out of Gloucester. His story of perseverance, tenacity and resilience mirror the ambition of Blackburn Energy.

Howard Blackburn lost his mittens overboard in the freezing winter of 1883. Facing frostbite, he curved his hands so that they would freeze in a position to row his boat – determined to return home. It took 5 days of hunger, cold and exhaustion, but his efforts were rewarded. Returning to Gloucester, he healed as best as possible, but the damage done by the elements had cost him his fingers, both thumbs, a toe & his crewmate.

After adventures in bootlegging and gold mining, he was ready for a new challenge: his first successful solo-crossing of the Atlantic Ocean! His second trip set a new record – with a duration of just 39 days. Nature took its toll on the final trip, where the loss of his grip and the climate were too much.

Blackburn returned home to continue work at his tavern. Known for performing fingerless magic tricks, and telling his tales to the patrons of Gloucester, they dubbed him the “Man of Iron”. Captain Blackburn passed away in 1932 at the age of 73. He was laid to rest in Beechgrove Cemetery in Gloucester, following a procession fit for a hero.

Our moniker pays tribute to a man larger than life; who’s thirst for success outweighed his disadvantages, who steadfastly sought his dreams and became a legend in the process.