The Monterey Clippers were developed in the early 1900s around San Francisco and Monterey by modernizing and motorizing the traditional European felucca form. I believe that the “Clipper” name comes from the boats’ distinctive clipper bow… though some later boats were built with less bow flare and a straighter stem, for easier wave piercing at sea.
I won’t try to write a detailed history when it’s been done capably elsewhere:
Wikipedia: Monterey Clipper
And of course, you can read the personal stories here to get an even better idea.