Gifts to the Heart, From the Sea

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Scrimshaw jagging wheel, circa 1860, used to seal and decorate pies (accession number 1934.0741.000001).

Valentine’s Day can be a tricky holiday. There are three camps and woe to your partner if they don’t know what group you’re in – you either love it, you hate it, or you pretend you hate it but secretly still want that overpriced dozen red roses delivered to your office, complete with stuffed teddy bear. No, not at lunch hour when everyone is out! And not right at 5 p.m either! See? Tricky. 

Whatever your personal feelings are on it, Valentine’s Day as a holiday has been celebrated in its current form since Victorian times when cards were mass printed and there was cheap postage to send them. The origin of Valentine’s Day is actually a bit murky, with various theories that revolve around a pagan fertility celebration mixed with a few saints by the name of Valentine who had unfortunate ends. Do a Google search on it; it’s extremely entertaining – and not all hearts and roses.    Read more

A Snapshot of Love from our Collection, to Celebrate Engagement Season!

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Wedding photo of whaling captain C.H. Becker and Barbara E. Klock. P0001.016-01–PP2613

Ah, engagement season: that magical time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day (“Wedding Christmas” according to wedding vendors) when 40% of annual engagements occur. Couples use the holidays to officially pop the question, put a ring on it, and then begin planning their dream wedding – probably the biggest event they will ever throw.

Of course, due to Covid, weddings look a little (OK, a lot) different this year – and probably will into 2021 as well. The Mariners’ Museum and Park is part of people’s nuptials as a private event venue, and I can tell you straight up that we miss our engaged couples terribly.    Read more