Category Archives: Museum Objects

Mariners’ Museum receives key components from Oracle’s America’s Cup winner

 

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The Mariners’ Museum recently received a donation from Oracle Team USA of parts from its 2013 America’s Cup-winning catamaran. The donation included one of the revolutionary “J”-foil daggerboards, which lifted the 72-foot catamaran from the water at high speeds, as well as a replacement bow section.

Newport News, VA – The Mariners’ Museum has received a donation of key components from the 2013 America’s Cup-winning Oracle Team USA catamaran. The donation included one of the revolutionary “J”-foil daggerboards, which lifted the 72-foot catamaran from the water at high speeds.

The gift is the culmination of a conversation that began in February between Mariners’ Museum Chief Curator Lyles Forbes and Oracle Team USA. Forbes initially set his sights on one of the smaller AC45 catamarans used in the America’s Cup World Series.

Oracle Team responded that it couldn’t accommodate Forbes’ request – because the AC45 was still an active class. But Oracle surprised him by offering a much bigger prize – pieces from the Cup-winning AC72.

“I was hugely ecstatic,” said Forbes, a longtime fan of competitive sailing who attended the 2013 America’s Cup regatta in San Francisco. “I didn’t even consider that in the realm of possibility.”

Oracle Team USA’s successful defense of the America’s Cup last year is considered one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. The team came from an 8-1 deficit to beat Emirates Team New Zealand.

The boat’s “J”-shaped foiling daggerboards work like airplane wings, lifting the massive catamaran from the water as it reaches high speeds. The winning 72-foot catamaran sailed at more than 50 miles per hour during the 2013 America’s Cup regatta. . The 35th defense of the Cup will be in 2017.

“The J-foils made the difference,” Forbes said. “They literally raised America’s Cup to a whole new level.”

In addition to donating one of the large “J” foils, Oracle Team USA also provided a replacement bow section, and a “T” foil rudder from the smaller AC45 class as well as some crew gear.

A new display is being planned for the International Small Craft Center, alongside one of the earliest sailing hydrofoils – Monitor, which was a project between the U.S. Navy and Baker Manufacturing in the late 1950s.

Navy Artifacts Getting New Home

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From Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division RICHMOND, Va. (NNS) — The Navy announced the planned consolidation of its historic artifacts from multiple locations into a tailored facility located
in Richmond, Va. 

Naval artifacts are currently housed in separate facilities in Washington
D.C., Springfield, Va., Cheatham Annex, Va. and Memphis, Tenn. The entire process of consolidation, which includes a partial refurbishment of the Richmond facility to adequately meet storage condition standards, is projected to take approximately 18 months.

“This move represents a generational leap forward for the conservation, preservation, management and ultimately care of our most prized Navy holdings,” said Captain Henry Hendrix, Ph.D., the director of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). “We’ve been both amazed by and grateful for our partners at DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) for their alacrity, enthusiasm and determination.” 

NHHC currently holds more than 300,000 artifacts in its collection dating back to the founding of the Republic.

“We’re glad to help safeguard these invaluable possessions by finding  a single facility. It removes the inherent inefficiencies of having them scattered in various locations – and the best part is with the necessary storage modifications it’ll mean significant improvements for the artifacts,” said Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, director of the Defense Logistics Agency, who was central in arranging for the consolidation. 

“We’ve been working hard for a few years now to more efficiently manage the vast and in some cases fragile holdings, and having them scattered around the country was both expensive and problematic. Truthfully, the existing storage conditions weren’t anything to write home about either. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but this is a quantum leap forward,” said Dr. Jay Thomas, the assistant director for NHHC for the collections management division. 

The consolidation now allows the Navy to centrally locate all of the artifacts, which will translate to improved care, management, accountability and oversight of the collection. The building in Richmond will ensure improved environmental controls for high risk artifacts, proper shelving and storage, an area for conserving and preserving the artifacts. The facility will provide the infrastructure for staff to continue and complete the on-going 100% artifact inventory effort currently underway.

This vast undertaking will demand the entire collection team to focus its time and energy on the move.  In the near term, the Navy’s Curator Branch will continue to service existing artifact loans, currently numbering in excess of 1,500. The curators will suspend processing requests for new artifact loans as they tackle the project, which will require significant travel in support of preparing and managing the shipment of the vast holdings. Their ability to accept new donations and respond to inquiries will also be slowed. 

We have literally tons of material, some of which is priceless, and nearly all of it irreplaceable. But the work is well worth it if it means in the long run our Sailors and our citizens can better appreciate what the Navy has meant to our country since its inception,” said head curator, Karen France. 

The Naval History and Heritage Command, located at the Washington Navy Yard, is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage. It provides the knowledge foundation for the Navy by maintaining historically relevant resources and products that reflect the Navy’s unique and enduring contributions through our nation’s history, and supports the Fleet by assisting with and delivering professional research, analysis, and interpretive services. 

NHHC is composed of many activities including the Navy Department Library, the Navy Operational Archives, the Navy art and artifact collections, underwater archeology, Navy histories, nine museums, USS Constitution repair facility and the historic ship Nautilus.

Story Number: NNS140612-18; Release Date: 6/12/2014 9:31:00 PM

The American Lightship Museum Opens

Cutting the ribbon on the Overfalls Foundation’s new American Lightship Museum from the left: Museum Curator Ray Glick, Mayor Ted Becker, Foundation Ship & Grounds Chair Bill Reader, Past President Dave Bernheisel and President Tracy Mulveny

Cutting the ribbon on the Overfalls Foundation’s new American Lightship Museum from the left: Museum Curator Ray Glick, Mayor Ted Becker, Foundation Ship & Grounds Chair Bill Reader, Past President Dave Bernheisel and President Tracy Mulveny

The Overfalls Foundation in Lewes, Delaware announced the opening of the American Lightship Museum at a ceremony on June 4, 2014. The Foundation is also the home of the Lightship Overfalls (LV-118), a recently designated National Historic Landmark, and the Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame.

The new museum will work in conjunction with the lightship, at the same location, to tell the story of the American lightships and the crews who served aboard them. Foundation president Tracy Mulveny said, “This is something that has been in our plans for a long time and this year we were able to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together. First, the Lightship Sailors Association donated their collection of artifacts to us to put on display. Then, we were given the pilot house from the Stephanie Anne, a 1955 vintage fishing boat that was being rebuilt which we were able to restore and use to house the artifacts. Our local community, which has always been supportive of our mission, made it possible to incorporate the new structure in our existing building complex. Finally, with contributions of funds and building materials from generous donors, our volunteer work force took over and made it all happen.”

In addition to telling the lightship story, the museum houses some significant and unique artifacts such as the hawsehole from LV-1, the first numbered U.S. lightship, and the last American flag to fly over a U.S. lightship completing a full tour in service. The Foundation also seeks additional artifacts to supplement the collection and better tell the lightship story. Any individuals who might be able to assist in adding to the collection are asked to contact the museum curator Ray Glick on (847) 732-2988 or by e-mail at GlickRay@Gmail.com.

The museum’s open hours will coincide with that of the lightship which is seasonal from Memorial Day through Columbus Day. As with the lightship, special museum tours are available on request. For the latest information and special tours refer to the Foundation’s web site WWW.Overfalls.org.

Conserving the Star-Spangled Banner

The Star-Spangled Banner courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History

The Star-Spangled Banner courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Paul Johnston at the National Museum of American History invites you to read their recent blog post giving the latest information on the ongoing conservation of one of America’s national treasures: The Star-Spangled Banner.

It’s also an important artifact of the War of 1812, for which we’re celebrating the Bicentennial.

 

National Museum of the Great Lakes Ready to Open

New National Museum of the Great Lakes with museum ship S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker. Photo by Candace Clifford

New National Museum of the Great Lakes with museum ship S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker. Photos by Candace Clifford

P1100197 lorescollectibles loresThe new National Museum of the Great Lakes, Toledo, Ohio, combines the Great Lakes Historical Society’s extensive collection of artifacts with various interactive exhibits for different age levels. Kids can stoke a steamship boiler with artificial coal while adults can track commercial shipping on a computer monitor. Hundreds of artifacts, ranging from a second-order fresnel lighthouse lens to tourist collectibles from passenger vessels, are distributed throughout. The amount of material is a little overwhelming but the interpretive panels are designed so that a person can take in only the major points or pause to read more detailed information.

Lifesaving exhibit

KELLEYS ISLAND, the oldest lifeboat used by the U.S. Life-Saving Service on the Great Lakes

Although located on the Maumee River near Lake Erie, the museum interprets all the Great Lakes with four exhibit themes: Exploration & Settlement, Expansion & Industry, Safeguard & Support, Shipwrecks & Safety. As you enter, a short film gives an introductory overview with dramatic lights and sound effects.

Outside, the museum ship S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker will impress you with its enormous size. It was the largest freighter on the Great Lakes when built in 1911 by Great Lakes Engineering Works in Ecorse, Michigan. Its capacity of 15,000 tons was a dramatic increase over other existing freighters’ capacity of 3,000 to 12,000 tons.

front loresSchoonmaker carried coal, iron ore, and other cargo from Duluth to Cleveland and other ports for the Shenango Furnace Company. Sold to Interlake Steamship Company in 1969, she was renamed Willis B. Boyer in honor of a former chairman of the board. Sold in 1971 to the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, Boyer was retired in 1980 after 69 years of service.

Opened to the public in July 1987, Boyer became a visitor attraction on the Toledo waterfront. Recently restored and then rechristened Col. James M. Schoonmaker on July 1, 2011, one hundred years after her original christening, the freighter has been repainted in her original colors of the Shenango Furnace Company.Schoon detail lores

The official opening of the National Museum of the Great Lakes will be April 26, 2014. Two days later, representatives from maritime museums as far away as Astoria, Oregon; Santa Barbara, California; and Houston, Texas; will be on hand to celebrate and support the new facility as part of the annual conference of the Council of American Maritime Museums (CAMM). Maritime museums included on the program include Michigan Maritime Museum; Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota; Mystic Seaport, Connecticut; Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.;  Maine Maritime Museum; The Mariners’ Museum, Virginia; and Chesapeake Maritime Museum, Maryland.

Schoonmaker

MONITOR Center Lab Closes – Message from The Mariners’ Museum

Monitor Center lab is closed due to lack of federal funding  

The Mariners’ Museum has made the difficult decision to temporarily close the 5,000-square foot lab that houses the USS Monitor‘s gun turret and other large artifacts following the Dec. 31, 2013 expiration of an agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Sanctuary Program.

Simply put, The Mariners’ Museum cannot continue to shoulder the conservation costs for these artifacts, which belong to the federal government. In 2013, the conservation cost was approximately $500,000. NOAA was only able to provide 10 percent of funding, and no funding was designated in 2012, the 150th anniversary of the Monitor‘s historic clash with the Confederate ironclad Virginia in Hampton Roads.

The decision to close the “wet lab” does not impact the rest of the Museum operation. The Monitor exhibition Ironclad Revolution is still open, as is the rest of the exhibition space at The Mariners’ Museum. Also, though no progress in the artifacts’ treatment will be made during this period, the artifacts remain in a stable environment.

This is an emotional move for all of us, who feel deeply invested in the effort to tell the important story of the USS Monitor through its artifacts. Most affected is our team of Monitor conservators, some of whom have dedicated years to this project, and who consider themselves the guardians of the Monitor.

NOAA is waiting on Congress’ approval of a budget to determine what funding to make available this coming year. NOAA and The Mariners’ Museum are working together to ensure that funding is in place to continue this important conservation work. The lab will re-open once funding is secured.

You can help us by letting legislators and NOAA know you believe the government should designate funding for the Monitor conservation project at The Mariners’ Museum. Here are three ways you can do this:

  • Sign our change.org petition
  • Message NOAA and The Mariners’ to let us know of your support
  • Forward this e-mail to your friends

Thank you for your support of our continued desire to tell the USS Monitor story, and to preserve these artifacts for many generations to come.

Sincerely,

Elliot

Elliot Gruber
President & CEO
The Mariners’ Museum

Objects Available from Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society

Below is a list of objects approved for deaccession by the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society (PSMHS), located in Seattle, WA. PSMHS holds legal title for all of these objects, and each one is available for transfer to an appropriate institution. We are willing to transfer to permanent as well as education collections. Some objects may be in poor condition.

For more information or if your institution is interested in a particular item, please contact Jessica Bellingham at jbelling@uw.edu by January 15, 2014. Items will be transferred on a first-come, first-served basis. Please include the accession number when inquiring about an object.

Thanks very much for your time, and we hope you find something that interests you & your institution!

• PS103 – Wooden name board from schooner “Tongass.” 70” long.

• PS304 – Piece of teakwood; relic from schooner “La Natalie.” 3”x3”x8”

• PS901.7a-i – Set of 9 spline weights for drafting, lead with brass hooks

• PS1057 – Mock-up of boiler front built for an engine room exhibit

• PS1061.1 – framed ink drawing/joiner plans for SS Kansas City, which became the S.S. Alaska

• PS1067.1 & .2– Marine engine, Lathrop. Standard model 4 cycle, 2 cylinder, with instruction booklet. Mounted on wood stand on wheels.

• PS1128 – Elto outboard motor

• PS1129 – Outboard motor

• PS1138.25.1 & .2 – 2 woven provisioning baskets

• PS1151.1 to .9 – Jacob’s ladder (5 treads) and 8 wood rigging blocks

• PS1162 – Weatherproof uniform “liberated from Navy Sea Bee camp on Iwo Jima”, including overalls & hooded top.

• PS1204.38 – Commemorative dish for launching of MV Rabenfels of Hansa line.

• PS1232.3 – Iron eye fitting on wooden knee beam from “Star of Bengal”

• PS1235 – Boatswain’s metal handheld whistle

• PS1409.80 – Model door lock with knob & latch assembly mounted on wooden display stand

• PS1409.114 – Document or letter holder, used by ship’s purser to index bills, etc.

• PS1409.139 – Gold shoulder loop from Imperial Japanese 7th

• PS1409.214 – Miniature model of English fishing cutter – 4.5” long

• PS1409.216 – Box full of loose ship model pieces

• PS1409.239 – Miniature ship model made of a turkey breast bone

• PS1422 – Scott Atwater outboard motor.

• PS1425 – Outboard motor, Johnson Motors, Waukegan III

• PS1998.40.1 to .9 – Radiophones, handsets, radio direction finders, etc. Note that only 8 are available – PSMHS will be keeping one of these. All are slightly rusty.

• PS2000.12.7 – Anchor chain

• PS2000.27 – 373 Navigational charts in 12 tubes, world coverage

• PS2000.30.1 to .6 – Scale, weights, pressure gauge, zinc anode, box end wrench

• PS2000.37 – Sport fishing rod & reel.

• PS2000.42.4 – Deadeye and iron wire shroud end on wood deadeye from sailing vessel “America.”

• PS2000.42.5 – Wood planking fragment from sailing vessel “America”

• PS2001.37.3 – Bottom action winch for small sailing yacht, Merriman Bros., Boston

• PS2001.51 – Miscellaneous maritime-themed baseball caps in unknown condition.

• PS2001.57.1 – Copper gunpowder canister, copper pitcher form with two handles

• PS2001.57.6 – Medal “Ships for Victory”, bronze with red, white, and blue ribbon.

• PS2001.60.1 – Polarstar immersion suit in unknown condition

• PS2002.28 – Large model of Todd Shipyard diorama

• PS2002.29 – Wooden steering wheel from the SS “Baranof”, 72” diameter

• PS2003.1.4 – 8 blue glass canning jars

• PS2003.9 –Fabric & wire anchor signal in unknown condition

• PS2004.10 – Radar display simulator for navigation training

• PS2004.22 – Wood casting pattern for rocker arm of Nordberg engine

• PS2005.1.6 – Framed bill of landing/manifest for ship “Audubon” from NY to San Francisco

• PS2007.17.2 – Broken diorama of 3-masted schooner on wooden base

• PS2007.17.3 – Broken diorama of brigantine on wooden base

• PS2007.17.4 – Broken diorama of four-masted barkentine on wooden base

• PS2007.25.1 – Print of S.S. “Master”

• PS2007.27 – Bronze searchlight, 19” diameter

• PS2008.1 – Steam pump – direct acting, duplex, painted green.

Gill Net Gear & Materials Available to CAMM Members

Below is a list of objects approved for deaccession by the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society (PSMHS), located in Seattle, WA. The historical society holds legal title for all of these objects, and each one is available for transfer to an appropriate institution.

For more information or if your institution is interested in a particular item, please contact Jessica Bellingham at jbelling [at] uw.edu by December 15, 2013. Items will be transferred on a first-come, first-served basis. Please include the accession number when inquiring about an object.

All the objects below are from a collection of gill net gear & materials from Frank Scott, a gill netter.  We would be glad to transfer to a permanent collection or to an education collection.

Thanks very much for your time, and we hope you find something that interests you & your institution!

  • PS2000.23.1 – Sail, cotton, white, sprit sail rig, Frank Scott gillnetter 1913. A photograph of Frank Scott in his first gill netter with this sail exists in a Bellingham or fisheries history book; may be in PSMHS collection.  Condition unknown.
  • PS2000.23.2 – Spars, for gillnetter sail PS2000.23.1, peeled saplings.  Mast, boom and sprit, ends worked for mast step and sail pockets, sail lash to spars with integral ties.
  • PS2000.23.4 –Gill net.
  • PS2000.23.5 –Net, large.
  • PS2000.23.6 –Net, green nylon with synthetic float bag (measurements unknown; not handmade).
  • PS2000.23.8 – Gillnetting tool of unknown purpose; trough in shape, wood with handle, made by Frank Scott, orange paint, material 1″ thick,  “V” shaped.
  • PS2000.23.9 –Net weight lines of synthetic fiber rope (not handmade).
  • PS2000.23.10 –Net weight lines of natural fiber rope (probably not handmade).
  • PS2000.23.11 –3 orange plastic fenders used for gill net boat or as net markers.
  • PS2000.23.12 –Foam floats circled by Turk’s head knots
  • PS2000.23.15 –Lantern globes (3) used for gillnet marking
  • PS2000.23.17 –Gill net of green synthetic fiber, dimensions unknown but could be up to 100 fathoms long
  • PS2000.23.18 –Net of natural manila fiber, length unknown
  • PS2000.23.19 –Net of natural manila fiber, length unknown
  • PS2000.23.20 –Net of synthetic green fiber, 10 fathoms long
  • PS2000.23.22 –Gill net of fine white nylon mesh in paper bag marked “DOG WEB” by Frank Scott
  • PS2000.23.23 –Raft dog of forged iron
  • PS2000.23.25 – Galley Stove
  • PS2000.23.27 –Clothes wringer (old fashioned wooden/hand cranked rollers) used to wring liquid tar from nets after preservative process
  • PS2000.23.28 –Galvanized iron rings of varying sizes used for rigging gill nets
  • PS2000.23.29 –Handmade steel or brass hooks for hanging gill nets in net house, record says “Use for authentic atmosphere in exhibits”
  • PS2000.23.30 –Foul weather jacket of rubber covered fabric
  • PS2000.23.31 –Foul weather trousers of rubber covered fabric with braces
  • PS2000.23.32 –Foul weather jacket of rubber covered fabric, with hood
  • PS2000.23.33 –Yellow rubber fisherman’s apron
  • PS2000.23.34 –Floating pole net marker with Spanish corks.
  • PS2000.23.35 –Float for oil lantern marker
  • PS2000.23.37 –Spanish cork floats strung on line, in bag (length/number of floats unknown)
  • PS2000.23.38 –Board with handhold at center, possibly used as a divider for fish hold on small gill net boat
  • PS2000.23.39 –Commercially made plastic orange fender
  • PS2000.23.40 –Oil lantern marker with no globe and misc. refill parts
  • PS2000.23.41 –Galvanized iron rings strung on manila rope (length unknown)
  • PS2000.23.43 –Galvanized iron cleat with roller
  • PS2000.23.44 –Net weights of lead, possibly cast by Frank Scott, some on nylon line and others loose
  • PS2000.23.45 –Wooden box marked: “Bellingham Shipyard Co., Squalicum Waterway, Bellingham, Washington”; record says “useful for exhibit authenticity”
  • PS2000.23.46 –Commercially made plastic gillnet floats previously stored in PS2000.23.45 (wooden box)
  • PS2000.23.42/.47 – Ship’s wheel, 20” diameter, from unspecified small fishing boat
  • PS2000.23.48 – Steering chain for wheel PS2000.23.42/.47
  • PS2000.23.49 –Weight line for gill net with weights poured onto line by Frank Scott (est. 10 fathoms long)
  • PS2000.23.50 –Roller assembly for stern of gill net boat to guide nets when being set or retrieved; made by a blacksmith for Frank Scott
  • PS2000.23.51 –Spanish cork floats (2 bags- or 6 cu ft. worth)
  • PS2000.23.56 –Fishing line of manila (3 fathoms), made by Frank Scott
  • PS2000.23.57 –Gill net remnants braided into hanks for unknown purposes by Frank Scott, with galvanized metal iron rings
  • PS2000.23.58 –Gill net float markers (2) of plywood, with circular plate to hold lantern
  • PS2000.23.60 –Club or paddle of unknown purpose, handmade by Frank Scott
  • PS2000.23.61 –Galvanized iron oarlocks, two pairs
  • PS2000.23.62 –Weight line for gill net with weights braided into rope by Frank Scott (approx. 6 fathoms)
  • PS2000.23.63 –Weight line for gill net with weights poured onto synthetic rope by Frank Scott (approx. 6 fathoms)
  • PS2000.23.65 –Pants of heavy wool worn by Frank Scott in cold weather
  • PS2000.23.66 –Knot work: “two spectacle eyes of double loops spliced in manila line; one the eye splices are formed by whipping in center of loop; one with Turk’s head knot whipping the center of the loop to form double eye. Made by Frank Scott”
  • PS2000.23.69 –Navigation light (white) with aluminum housing
  • PS2000.23.70 –Crucible for pouring molten lead
  • PS2000.23.71 –Hook with flattened end and 4 drilled holes, purpose unknown (possibly for hanging gill nets)
  • PS2000.23.74 –Commercially made fishing rod of split bamboo
  • PS2000.23.75 –Commercially made fishing rod of tempered steel
  • PS2000.23.76 –Commercially made fishing rod of tapered fiberglass
  • PS2000.23.77 –Fender handmade by Frank Scott of canvas and filled with unknown material