Continuing work with the Ship Models

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Work continues on the exhibition for the 50th anniversary of the Hampton Roads Ship Model Society, with models having arrived every day for the past two weeks.  We have almost reached the finish line though with only a couple more models set to come in.  Although anyone can walk through and see the work we’re doing, the exhibition officially opens August 5th and will remain open until February 11th, 2018.  The models are so lovely and it’s amazing the amount of work and skill that goes into making them.  The model makers clearly have a tremendous amount of patience.

There are a lot of models that people will recognize in this show, including America, CSS Virginia, USS Monitor, and SS United States.  We get a lot of questions about our model of SS United States, which is currently in storage, so it will be great to have one on display again.  There are two models of America (where the America’s Cup race gets its name), which make an excellent contrast to the AC72 displayed in the gallery next door.  It shows you just how far technology has taken us.   Read more

Artifacts on the Move!

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Entrance to the Museum

Recently I had the good fortune of being in the Boston area and was able to visit some of our artifacts currently on loan to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.  Their exhibition, Ocean Liners:  Glamour, Speed, and Style is open from now until October 9, after which it will be traveling to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  We loaned them a number of fantastic pieces, including some that are quite large.

In the second room, seen in the picture above, the engineering of these mighty ships was discussed and two of our artifacts were included.  The first is the piece hanging from the ceiling, a towing tank model of SS United States.  This model was tested in the U.S. Navy’s David W. Taylor Model Basin at Bethesda, Maryland in 1946.  The other piece is the cream-colored half model on the wall to the right.  It doesn’t look like much in this photo, but it is a 21′ plating model for SS United States, made in 1949.   Read more

Way Back Wednesdays

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June 1934, objects on table in main room, scrimshaw display

In our early days, we often simply placed objects all over tables to show off as much of the collection as possible.  Of course this left them easily exposed to damage and theft, so we no longer display them like this, but it still looks neat.  This image is from 1934 and features a small portion of our scrimshaw collection.  The finest piece is that large panbone next to the paddle from 1857/1858 depicting the Civic Heroes of the American Revolution and the Washington Monument at Richmond.  It was made by Nathaniel Sylvester Finney, a veteran whaleman.

I believe I have posted other photographs before of our International Antarctic Exhibition before, but this one (from Jan. 23, 1963) shows Admiral Dufek being interviewed by Channel 13.   Read more

Way Back Wednesdays

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1971, Building of the Gibbs Gallery

This first picture shows construction on the Gibbs Gallery in 1971.  It was built to commemorate the achievements of William Francis Gibbs, probably best know for designing and supervising the building of SS United States.  In 1922, he and his brother, Frederic Herbert Gibbs began the company that would eventually become known as Gibbs & Cox.

Here we have the Junior League of Hampton Roads in 1961 who acted as tour guides for our visitors.  And behind them is our beautiful eagle figurehead from USS Lancaster.   Read more