May Artifact of the Month – Box from the USS Cyclops

Posted on

One of the greatest unsolved sinking mysteries of the U.S. Navy is the story of USS Cyclops, a steel twin screw collier that went missing during World War I, rumored to have disappeared within the Bermuda Triangle. Our Artifact of the Month is actually a chest from Cyclops, which was donated to the museum in September 1941. Unfortunately, nothing was found within the sea chest, which was found under the donor’s home in Norfolk, Virginia in 1926.

One of the greatest unsolved sinking mysteries of the U.S. Navy is the story of USS Cyclops, a steel twin screw collier that went missing during World War I, rumored to have disappeared within the Bermuda Triangle. Our Artifact of the Month is actually a chest from Cyclops, which was donated to the museum in September 1941. Unfortunately, nothing was found within the sea chest, which was found under the donor’s home in Norfolk, Virginia in 1926.

April Artifact of the Month – Baseball Series

Posted on
Baseball autographed by Yogi Berra. Courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum.
Baseball autographed by Yogi Berra. Courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum.

In honor of America’s pastime and the recent start of the baseball season, this month’s artifact is a collection of baseballs from here at The Mariners’ Museum. There are currently three here at the museum with one on display and two that are not on display, and hidden in the hold. While a baseball does not sound like something that would usually be present at a maritime museum, these all have provenance that legitimizes their right to be here.

The two baseballs that are not on display were owned by William Frances Gibbs, a naval architect most well known for his design of  SS United States. Along with his brother Frederic, Gibbs designed 1,000 foot ocean liners and eventually began producing the ships in the early 1900’s after encouragement from the Navy and with the funding of J.P. Morgan. The brothers produced designs for ships from their naval architecture firm, Gibbs & Cox, and produced plans for thousands of ships during World War II. The baseballs themselves were the personal property of William Gibbs and were included with a number of other personal items that were accessioned into the collection.   Read more

March Object of the Month – German One Man, Torpedo Carrying Marder Submarine (Midget Sub)

Posted on
Marder Submarine, following restoration in 2005. Courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum.
Marder Submarine, following restoration in 2005. Courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum.

For the March edition of our Artifact of the Month, we are taking a look at the German World War II Marder submarine. The one we have here at The Mariners’ Museum resides in the International Small Craft Center, and is thought to be one of four left in existence. It was received here in May of 1948, as part of an indefinite loan from the Army Ordinance Department at Fort Monroe, VA.

The Marder was known as one of the German’s midget submarines, and was an advanced design of the previous Neger design. The Neger design was unable to fully submerge, and therefore could only remain on the surface, making it extremely difficult for the operator to escape once firing the torpedo. The Marder is 26 feet long by 20 inches wide, and broken into three different sections. This particular artifact has been restored to a grayish-green color, with a white interior. The operator sat towards the bow of the submarine, under a plexi-glass dome that was fitted to the entry hatch. This dome allowed for better visibility and accuracy of the operator when firing. There was also a compass attached to the inside of the dome, so to provide addition navigational assistance to the operator.   Read more