Long-time Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum employee Eric Applegarth of Claiborne, Md. recently retired after 28 years of service. Applegarth worked as the Exhibits Specialist at CBMM, creating diverse props, art, and structures from his various creative talents, including woodcarving, metal-working, and painting.
Connected to the Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake Bay through a long line of heritage and through personal interest in what the Bay has to offer, Applegarth joined CBMM in 1988 after a few years of part-time work.
“Eric’s impact can be seen in virtually every corner of CBMM, from the perfectly cluttered decoy carver’s shop in our Waterfowling exhibition, to the metal outline mannequins in At Play on the Bay and the carved wooden faces and hands of the crew on the skipjack E.C. Collier in Oystering,” says CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “Eric’s cheerful willingness to do absolutely anything that needs to be done, his self-deprecating humor, and his sunny demeanor made him the most beloved member of CBMM’s staff for more than a quarter of a century.”
In his retirement, Applegarth will spend time in Claiborne, Md., and in New Haven, Ct., with his wife Michelle Zacks, an associate director at Yale University. With hopes to continue his passion for art and carpentry, Applegarth plans on volunteering with New Haven’s local museums and will stay connected to CBMM through continued work on exhibitions.
“I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of creating non-technical interactives to continue the story line of CBMM’s exhibitions,” says Applegarth. “I’ve also enjoyed the time that I’ve spent growing up along the Chesapeake, doing the things I love—from trapping muskrats, to boatbuilding, and working with watermen.”
Submitted by Tracey Johns, CBMM, September 29, 2016
Newport News, VA – The Mariners’ Museum is one of 206 museums in the U.S. and three in Virginia to be awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Museums for America collections grant. A highly competitive program, the USS Monitor Center’s proposal was chosen from a pool of 548 applications; the $27,823 grant will be matched with non-federal funds.
“Museums play a vital role in their communities supporting experiences and inquiry for people of all ages, fostering civic engagement, and serving as stewards of collections that represent the nation’s cultural, historical and scientific heritage,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. Matthew stated that this federal support will help museums all over the country, “enabling their highest level of public service.”
Conservation of the USS Monitor’s revolving gun turret will be monitored by a new electrolytic reduction (ER) computer monitoring system made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Photo courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum.
This grant will allow the Museum to purchase, install, and operate a new electrolytic reduction (ER) computer monitoring system to support the conservation of the iconic revolving gun turret from the USS Monitor, housed in the USS Monitor Center’s Batten Conservation Complex.
Will Hoffman, senior conservator/conservation project manager said, “The use of ER is a major part of the turret’s conservation treatment; which involves the use of electrochemistry to breakup corrosion and free trapped chlorides embedded within the object’s surface. To determine the effectiveness of the process and identify when adjustments need to be made, the artifact is constantly monitored through the use of a computer system. However, the hardware and software of the current system have become obsolete and technological support is no longer available. The new system, funded through the grant, will allow our conservators to get better real-time data and enable more accurate tracking of the treatment process over time. The resulting data can then be shared to expand the body of conservation knowledge that exists within the field, benefiting conservation and museum professionals around the world, as well as visitors to The Mariners’ Museum, and public audiences reached by lectures and web content.”
About IMLS: The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.
Submitted by Jenna Dill, The Mariners’ Museum, September 29, 2016
Newport News, VA – The USS Monitor’s Worthington Direct-Acting Simplex Pumps were designated a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in a August 26, 2016, ceremony at The Mariners’ Museum.
Port Worthington pump during conservation. Photo courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum
“Landmark status for the Worthington simplex pumps recognizes the contribution of the steam pumps to industrial history and to the progress of mechanical engineering,” said K. Keith Roe, current president of ASME. “The Worthington steam pumps join a roster of more than 250 other ASME engineering landmarks throughout the world. Each represents a progressive step in the evolution of our profession, while exemplifying the innovation and vision embodied in engineers everywhere.”
Howard H. Hoege III, interim president and CEO of The Mariners’ Museum, said, “We are distinctly honored to be awarded the ASME Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark designation for the USS Monitor’s Worthington Pumps. This award is a symbol of the Museum’s role in preserving and presenting unique marine engineering inventions such as the Worthington Pumps, allowing us to inspire future generations to create new designs, technologies, and machines which will shape our world’s future.”
The simplex pumps from the iconic ironclad Monitor were designed by 19th-century engineering pioneer Henry R. Worthington, one of ASME’s co-founders. Worthington, a longtime associate of the Monitor’s designer John Ericsson, sold the pumps, built at Worthington & Baker Works in Greenpoint, New York, on January 10, 1862, for $582.22. They were installed on the Monitor to handle water for boiler, bilge, and fire-fighting needs.
Dr. Reginald I. Vachon, past president of ASME, said, “The Worthington steam pumps stood apart for their efficiency and reliability. Their compact size and lightweight design were vital features in marine applications, and the pumps also served as the basis for a variety of other industrial applications.”
Photo courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum
Vachon presented a bronze plaque to John V. Quarstein, director of the Monitor Center, and Dr. Paul Ticco, regional coordinator of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, at the August 25 ceremony. Guests were given behind-the-scenes laboratory tours led by Monitor Center conservators.
Recovered from the Monitor’s wreck site off Cape Hatteras, NC, in 2001 by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and U.S. Navy divers, the pumps are believed to be the oldest surviving examples of Worthington’s simplex design. Undergoing conservation at the USS Monitor Center’s Batten Conservation Complex at The Mariners’ Museum and Park, the pumps will go on display at the Museum when conservation is complete.
The Monitor Center has crafted the only fully operational replica of one of the ship’s pumps. Will Hoffman, senior conservator/conservation project manager at the Monitor Center, gave a presentation about the making of the replica and a demonstration. Supporters of the Replica Project were recognized including Curtiss-Wright, Master Machine and Tool, and Hampton Rubber Company. Plans are to take the replica on a road tour that follows the Monitor Historic Trail from New York to North Carolina. When not on the road, the replica will be used for “STEAM” educational programming at the Museum.
The August 25 designation ceremony was sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers-Eastern Virginia Section and Curtiss-Wright.
Submitted by Jenna Dill, Marketing & Communications Manager, The Mariners’ Museum, August 25, 2016
ACCESSIBLE SENSORY TOURS OF HISTORIC SHIPS NOW AVAILABLE
Explore New Ways to Experience San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park’s Vessels Free (With Regular Admission) Programs Focus on Senses Other Than Sight
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The National Historic Landmark ships at Hyde Street Pier are a feast for the eyes, but there is more to them than what we can see. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is piloting a new program aimed at engaging visitors with visual impairments (but open to all groups) to experience the vessels in a new way – through smell, sound, touch, and feel. The new sensory tours are free with regular park admission, but must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
On these descriptive narrative tours, rangers guide visitors through a sensory experience on board the 1886 tall sailing ship Balclutha. The public are taken back to a time when sailors risked it all (bringing cargo from San Francisco around the treacherous Cape Horn to Europe) for meager pay. Visitors will feel the large, rough, twisted ropes in their hands as they haul away on the lines, smell greasy meat cooking in the galley, and hear Captain Alfred Durkee speaking (from his journals).
The 60-90 minute tours are geared toward small groups (around 10 people). At the close of each program, visitors will be invited to engage in self-guided tours of the other historic vessels.
To request a sensory tour, please contact Alice Watts at email@example.com. Although they are free with the park’s regular $10 admission, the tours need to be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
The park offers assisted listening services on request. Sign Language interpreter services need to be requested at least five days in advance. Please contact the Accessibility Coordinator/Chief of Interpretation by telephone (415-859-6797) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
San Francisco Maritime NHP, located at the west end of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, Visitor Center, Maritime Museum, Maritime Research Center, and Aquatic Park Historic District. For more information, please call 415-447-5000 or visit http://www.nps.gov.safr. Follow us on Twitter @SFMaritimeNPS and Instagram sfmaritimenps and join us on FB @SanFranciscoMaritimeNHP.
Submitted by Lynn Cullivan, San Francisco Maritime NHP, August 5, 2016
Impact Grant Expands Public Access of the Annapolis Maritime Museum’s Growing Digital Archives
ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Annapolis Maritime Museum received a Strategic Impact Grant from the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County to build a virtual database of archives. This timely grant is making a big impact for the Museum’s online collections, and the Museum’s database has already encouraged local historians to submit their private collections for public use.
Over the past month, William Keyworth has been working with dedicated volunteers at the Annapolis Maritime Museum to digitize and make public his collection of thirty-seven color Kodak slides with vivid images of skipjacks on the Chesapeake Bay. These impressive photos were captured in the 1970s and 1980s, and can now be publicly accessed on the Museum’s website.
Many local residents remember a time when skipjack fleets sailed up and down the Chesapeake Bay, but they are scarcely seen today. Mr. Keyworth, explaining the motivation of his work, summarized, “I used to work in a boatyard repairing skipjacks, and these images capture moments in our local history when skipjacks were prolific on our beautiful Bay.” The photos display skipjacks sailing the Bay and in periods of maintenance, as well as the Sandy Point Lighthouse, Chesapeake Appreciation Days, catboats, and images of racing.
The Annapolis Maritime Museum deeply appreciates William Keyworth’s donation and continues to strive to make all of its collections more readily available to the broader public. Caitlin Swaim, the curator of the Annapolis Maritime Museum, is especially excited about this newest addition to the museum’s online archives. Swaim noted, “The online database allows the Annapolis Maritime Museum to reach a much wider audience and provides both historians and the public with new collections and resources for research.”
The Annapolis Maritime Museum is now accepting new submissions for the online database, where it will continue to build a local archive of maritime history.
The Annapolis Maritime Museum is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to educating students and adults on the area’s rich maritime heritage and the ecology of the Chesapeake Bay through programs, exhibits and community events. The Museum partners with community groups, government entities, and other like-minded organizations to deliver high-quality educational initiatives and programs on subjects ranging from history and culture to the environment and good stewardship practices.
Submitted by M.K. Richardson, Annapolis Maritime Museum, July 19, 2016
NAVAL STATION GREAT LAKES, Ill. – The Great Lakes Naval Museum will be officially renamed the National Museum of the American Sailor during a ceremony and sign unveiling at the museum 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 4th.
The Navy’s top enlisted Sailor, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens, will be joined by retired Rear Adm. Sam Cox, director of Naval History and Heritage Command, North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham, Capt. James Hawkins, commanding officer of Naval Station Great Lakes, Jennifer Searcy, Ph.D., director of the National Museum of the American Sailor, and representatives from the Great lakes Naval Museum Foundation and National Museum of the American Sailor Foundation to unveil the new sign in front of the museum.
Torpedo Director Mark 27 during World War II. Image courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command
“Dedicated to telling the story of anyone who has ever worn the Navy uniform, this building will do more than house history,” said Cox. “The National Museum of the American Sailor will stand as a place for Sailors, Navy families and proud Americans to learn more about the Navy that serves them by using the history and experiences of our Sailors as the basis for its exhibits.”
Cox and Stevens are scheduled to share the news of the name change with attendees of the Naval Station Great Lakes July Fourth Celebration with a speech and video presentation 8:20 p.m. Tuesday.
The National Museum of the American Sailor name change signals a shift in vision from a regional focus to one that depicts the diverse history of Sailors who have served in the U.S. Navy. The name change also reflects the interest of museum visitors, many of whom travel from across the country to attend the basic training graduations at the Navy’s Recruit Training Command.
“What may appear as a simple name change to some, for me, marks a recommitment to my shipmates that as a Navy, and as a Nation, we honor the service and sacrifice of all American Sailors,” said Stevens.
The National Museum of the American Sailor currently features exhibits on life in Navy boot camp, naval uniforms and traditions, the history of Naval Station Great Lakes, the role of diversity in the Navy and the role of women in the Navy. Over the next two years, the museum will expand its exhibits to introduce visitors to the overall history and role of the U.S. Navy and the experiences of American Sailors in the past and today
“I am very excited for this ‘new’ museum, and I welcome you all to visit. Our nation’s history would not be the same if it were not for the millions of American Sailors who have served in the United States Navy,” said Cox.
The museum is located in Building 42 just outside the perimeter of Naval Station Great Lakes. Building 42, known as Hostess House, was built in 1942 and served as a visitors and reception center for almost one million American Sailors who came through Great Lakes during WWII.
The former Great Lakes Naval Museum was dedicated on October 26, 1996 in Building 158 and opened to the public on October 13, 1997. It became an official Navy Museum in Building 42 in 2009, joining the Naval History and Heritage Command museum enterprise.
The National Museum of the American Sailor is one of ten museums in the NHHC enterprise. Other museums include:
National Museum of the United States Navy (Washington Navy Yard, DC)
National Naval Aviation Museum (Pensacola, Florida)
Hampton Roads Naval Museum (Norfolk, Virginia)
United States Navy Seabee Museum (Port Hueneme, California)
Submarine Force Library and Museum and Historic Ship NAUTILUS (Groton, Connecticut)
Naval Undersea Museum (Keyport, Washington)
Puget Sound Navy Museum (Bremerton, Washington)
Naval War College Museum (Newport, Rhode Island)
United States Naval Academy Museum (Annapolis, Maryland)
Submitted by the Naval History & Heritage Command, July 1, 2016
Mystic Seaport has launched a new video — “Celestial Navigation: Finding the Way at Mystic Seaport.” In the years before GPS technology, sailors relied on the sun and stars to find their way home safely. The times have certainly changed, but Mystic Seaport explores the surprisingly precise science of celestial navigation.
A brand new Mystic Seaport video “Journey to Restoration: Mayflower II at Mystic Seaport” was released today. Mystic Seaport’s Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard is working in partnership with Plimoth Plantation to restore Mayflower II, a full-scale reproduction of the Pilgrims’ vessel. The ship is being repaired using traditional and modern methods that both honor her original construction and recondition her for generations of enjoyment.
Submitted by Connor Zito, Mystic Seaport, May 4, 2016
The Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule’a (“Star of Gladness” in Hawaiian) is circumnavigating the globe on a voyage whose goals are as impressive as they are important. Hokule’a was built by the Polynesian Voyaging Society in the 1970s, more than 600 years after any other voyaging canoe existed.
Designed and sailed using skills that very nearly went extinct, Hokule’a seeks the wisdom of all indigenous peoples in a search for ideas on dealing with global concerns applied on a global scale. Appealing particularly to students and their communities, Hokule’a brings attention to the message of Mālama Honua – “to care for the Earth” in Hawaiian.
Hokule’a will be welcomed into Hampton Roads waters by a flotilla on Friday, April 22. She will then stay docked in Newport News for the Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 23 at the James River Fishing Pier. The celebration will include tours of Hokule’a, educational activities for families, and chances to meet the crew members. On Sunday, April 24, Hokule’a will sail to Yorktown for a traditional welcoming ceremony with Native American tribes followed by an afternoon celebration and tours of Hokule’a.
Throughout the visit, Hokule’a’s crew will participate in multiple public programs. On Thursday, April 28, the crew will deliver a special lecture on Traditional Polynesian Wayfinding at the Museum. On Friday, April 29, the Museum will host Exploring the Seas Homeschool Day with the Polynesian Voyaging Society. There will also be special opportunities for Hampton Roads students to visit with the crew in their own classrooms.
Hokule’a will remain at Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown until May 8, when the canoe will continue sailing north, eventually visiting Washington, D.C., in time for a possible presidential declaration of National Oceans’ Month.
THREE NEW MASTS INSTALLED IN LANDMARK 1895 SCHOONER C.A. THAYER
C.A. THAYER mizzen mast being installed. NPS photo
San Francisco, CA – Yesterday, a San Francisco-minted, 1895 gold piece, donated by the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association, was laid on the mainmast step of the 1895 C.A. Thayer. Moments later, a mobile crane at Alameda’s Bay Ship and Yacht yard deftly fitted the 109-foot, 8.4-ton “stick” through a two-and-a-half foot hole carved in her planked deck. With the installation of her masts, the National Historic Landmark vessel’s preservation is nearly complete.
C.A. Thayer will return to Hyde Street Pier later this month, where Park staff will completely rig the vessel. The newly-masted schooner will be honored at the Park’s 2016 Festival of the Sea, a free, all-day public event scheduled for Saturday, August 20.
“We’re excited to bring C.A. Thayer back to Hyde Street Pier during the National Park Service’s centennial year,” said Park Superintendent Hendricks. “I invite the public to visit Hyde Street Pier this spring and watch our historic rigging crew install wire and line on all three of her new masts.”
A “stepping the mast” ceremony is a hoary maritime tradition, dating to at least the days of ancient Rome. At one time thought to bring good luck, placing a coin (or other memorabilia) under a vessel’s mast is now as much a part of shipbuilding custom as a smashed-champagne-bottle launch.
C.A. Thayer’s History
Built at Fairhaven, on Humboldt Bay in Northern California, in 1895, C.A. Thayer alone represents the hundreds of vessels built for the West Coast lumber trade. Constructed by Hans Bendixsen, she was originally owned by the E.K. Wood Lumber Company of San Francisco. The vessel spent the early years of her career carrying Douglas fir lumber from the Wood Company mill at Grays Harbor, Washington, to San Francisco and Southern California, with occasional longer trips to Mexico and the Pacific Islands.
The schooner retired from the lumber business in 1912, but quickly found work supplying a shore-based salmon fishing operation in Alaska. She changed hands again in 1924, and was refitted for codfishing in the Bering Sea, operating out of Puget Sound, Washington. After a period of lay-up during the depths of the Great Depression, she was purchased by the U.S. Army, and operated as a barge in the Aleutian Campaign, in 1942. Following WWII, Thayer returned to codfishing, and had the distinction of making the last commercial voyage of a large American sailing vessel, in 1950.
C.A. Thayer spent several years on display as a roadside attraction in Washington State. After a refit in Seattle, the schooner voyaged under sail down the Pacific Coast to San Francisco where, in 1963, she berthed at Hyde Street Pier as part of the newly-opened State Maritime Historical Park. The vessel was transferred, with the rest of that Park’s holdings, to the National Park Service in 1977. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984, and is now preserved by the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
Submitted by Lynn Cullivan, San Francisco Maritime NHP, February 2, 2016