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Introduction
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Myths and Mermaids
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Life in Port
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Going to Sea
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Lighthouse Keepers
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Changing Roles for Women
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Women in the Military
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Women in Wartime Production
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Early Yachting and Racing
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Women and the Sea in the 20th Century
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Timeline
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Resources
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In This Chapter

Sailor's Departure

The Press Gangs
Working Women
Sailor's Return

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Sailor's Return

The Sailor's Return
Nathaniel Currier, lithographer and publisher
The Mariners' Museum

Sailors Buying Souvenirs
1892 Rufus Fairchild Zogbaum From "All Hands": Pictures of Life in the United States Navy, 1897
The Mariners' Museum Research Library and Archives


As they traveled around the world, sailors often made or purchased mementos of their travels for their loved ones back home. During their idle time on board ship, many men carved bone or ivory into trinkets or useful household items such as pie crimpers or winding swifts. Items that were commonly bought in ports of call included Liverpool jugs, glass rolling pins, and ornate "sailor's valentines" from the island of Barbados.
Knitting Needles
Ivory and wood scrimshaw
The Mariners' Museum, William H. Macy Collection

Jagging Wheel
Inlaid ivory and mother-of-pearl scrimshaw
The Mariners' Museum




Ivory Spool Holder
The Mariners' Museum, William H. Macy Collection

Sewing Basket
Whale ivory scrimshaw
The Mariners' Museum

Winding Swift
Whale ivory and wood scrimshaw
The Mariners' Museum

Women used winding swifts to roll yarn from a skein into a ball. The winding swift clamped to a table, so extra hands were not needed.


Sailor's Valentine
circa 1880 Shells, fabric, and wood
The Mariners' Museum,
Gift of Descendants of Captain David Chapin Warren, The Ten Broeck Family
Sailors' valentines like this one were once thought to have been made by sailors as gifts, but research shows that many of the shellwork pieces were probably made as nautical souvenirs by enterprising artisans on the island of Barbados. Some valentines carry the classic phrases "When this you see, remember me" or "Forget me not." The owner of this sailor's valentine (which reads "Souvenir from Barbados") was David Chapin Warren, a sea captain who sailed between the northeast United States and tropical ports, often accompanied by his wife and two children.






Activity:
Discussion question:
If you were going on vacation, what would you bring home as souvenirs? If you lived in the nineteenth century, what could you bring home as souvenirs?
Activity:
The Sailor's Valentine


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