Contributions from Conservation: More than Meets the Eye

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Assistant Objects Conservator Paige Schmidt. Credit: The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

Hello there Mariners! I thought it was about time I introduced myself on the blog. My name is Paige Schmidt, and I am the Assistant Objects Conservator for the museum’s general collection. While I work in the Batten Conservation Complex alongside the archaeological conservators who dedicate their time to conserving the U.S.S. Monitor, I myself do not work on the Monitor. My job is to conserve and help care for the 18,000 three dimensional artifacts within our impressive collection!

While hands-on treatment of artifacts is a regular part of a conservator’s job, conservation encompasses a whole lot more than just treatment. In addition to assisting with the preventive care of the collection (i.e. avoiding the need for treatment as much as possible by regulating the environment in which artifacts exist), we can also provide insights into the history of an object, help objects tell their stories, and sometimes literally ‘unlock’ their secrets.   Read more

Forsaking Hudson

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Henry Hudson. Accession number: LP 2656

Today is the anniversary of a really unfortunate historical event. On this day in 1611 the crew aboard the ship Discovery mutinied and cast their captain, Henry Hudson, his son and seven other crewmen adrift in a small boat in the large Canadian Bay that now bears his name (Hudson’s Bay).

Hudson is probably one of the most well-known explorers of the Age of Exploration, but like others of the time, most of his successful discoveries were made by accident.  Hudson’s first voyage occurred when he was hired by the Muscovy Company to try and find a route to China by sailing through the Arctic.  His first voyage started in April 1607 when he sailed with a crew of ten, including his son, along the coast of Greenland to the Arctic Circle. Eventually the ship reached Spitsbergen and although he failed to find a route through the ice, they did see lots of whales, walruses and some seals.   Read more

Way Back Wednesdays

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Today’s Way Back photos take us to the early days of this park.  This image (from June 19, 1934) shows the house where our fantastic librarian, Cerinda Evans, lived.  The house was owned by the museum.  Cerinda was our first librarian and, by all accounts, an incredibly smart woman.  She wrote a number of books, including a biography of Shipyard founder, Collis Potter Huntington.

Going back to June 20, 1930, this shows the museum farm, on the property that is now Riverside Hospital.  The idea of maintaining a working farm was abandoned by 1935.   Read more

The Glorious First of June

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Q 225 lithophane illuminated

Well apparently, people ARE reading my blog posts! My recent post titled ‘An “Illuminating” Experience,’ led to the identification of the “unidentified 18th century naval battle” depicted on one of our lithophanes (thankfully I did peg the right century).  Reader Andy Cook identified the scene as the sinking of the French 74-gun ship-of-the-line Vengeur du Peuple during the battle affectionately known by the British as the Glorious First of June (1794).  The scene was taken from a lithograph adapted from a painting by French artist Auguste Étienne François Mayer (1805-1890).

As you would expect, at least when it comes to large-scale naval battles, there were many factors that led to the fight, which makes it hard to distill the action into just a few paragraphs. However, since it’s considered to be the first major fleet action of the French Revolutionary Wars and one of the greatest convoy actions in naval history I’ll give it a try!   Read more

Two Heroes for Memorial Day

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Launching of the President Coolidge. Accession#: MS0155.02.02.10

I am a day late but not a dollar short on today’s blog post (we have 1574 thanks to the start of Dollar Admission on Friday and a busy Memorial Day weekend!). Today’s post grew out of a convergence of many things and I had hoped to put it up yesterday but I was just too busy.

Several weeks ago, while working on devising talking points for the staff, I stumbled across some amazing images related to the President Hoover/President Coolidge model in our Ship Model gallery. The images are not only fantastic, they help relay a story of great sacrifice and courage worthy of remembering on Memorial Day.   Read more