Artifact of the Month – Commonwealth Model

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5.1.3

This month’s artifact is one of my favorite pieces in the collection.  It is a music box model of the steamboat Commonwealth.

Commonwealth was built in 1854-1855 by Lawrence & Foulkes in Greenpoint, Long Island, NY for the Norwich and New London Steamboat Company.  She was built for service between New York and Connecticut, and was commanded by Captain Jerome Wheeler Williams until 1864.  In 1860 she was acquired by the Stonington Line, and then by the Merchants Navigation and Transportation Company in 1863.  December 29, 1865, a fire at the wharf where Commonwealth was docked caused the ship to be destroyed by flames.   Read more

Life Magazine

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20151026_090505

Earlier this month I posted a picture of the cover of Life Magazine from 1955 showing our beautiful Lancaster Eagle.  Last weekend I just happened to be browsing in the Clifton Forge Antique Mall and saw stack upon stack of Life Magazine’s.  Sifting through them, I managed to find a copy of the one with our eagle.  Even though we already have one in our library, I went ahead and picked it up to put in our object file so anyone looking through the file for research will have quick access to it.

It’s really fun to see a colored shot from that time period as we mostly have black and white images.  I also enjoy trying to see if I can recognize the other pieces in the background.  The figurehead directly behind the eagle is Semiramis (ca 1894-1930) from the steam yacht Narada (ex. Semiramis).  The figurehead on the wall to the left is Merrie Monarch, attributed to the ship Merrie Monarch built in 1859 by J.H. Martin in St. Martins, New Brunswick.  Also to the left is a model of the Dollar Line representing two of their ships, President Hoover and President Coolidge, both of which began service in 1931.  It was the first model authorized to be built by our shipmodel builders in the early 30’s.  On the back wall of the gallery can partially be seen a half-model with a blue background.  This piece, ca 1939, is of the ship Great Britain and was built for showcase in the New York World’s Fair.  She is one of five half-models in our collection built for the New York World’s Fair.