Lancaster Eagle Scavenger Hunt

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View of a large eagle figurehead in a thrift shop
Lancaster Eagle figurehead, 1926-1934. The Mariners’ Museum, # P0001.015/01-PO0514.

The Puzzle

This is where our colossal eagle figurehead was sitting in 1933 when buyers for the Museum found it. Wouldn’t it be fun to walk through this store? Think of all the treasures you might find.

In fact, I’m going to list a few items pictured in this photograph and ask you to look closely to find which of these items ARE or ARE NOT in the photograph! (Hint: Five items ARE pictured.)   Read more

Fabulous Fotos: Timeless Beauty

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Serene view of a sailing vessel on water in Hampton, Virginia.
Armstrong Point, Hampton, Virginia, ca.1910. The Mariners’ Museum #P0001.008-02-APH03-027.

Cyanotypes can evoke a timeless quality, particularly when the subject matter is similarly aligned. This delicate image is all the more beautiful because of this process.

The cyanotype is one of the earliest photographic processes. Invented by England’s Sir John Herschel in 1842, it came to be known as the blueprint process (as in architectural plans). Photographs were contact printed (the final image is the same size as the original negative), exposed to sunlight, and developed with water.   Read more

Seeing Similarities in Unlikely Places

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view of a wood structure used in shipbuilding to support the bow of a vessel.
Arizona (Battleship: BB-39), 1915, Robert G. Skerrett Collection, The Mariners’ Museum, #P0001.014-01-PN2795.

Even though I work in a maritime museum, my art training still brings a sense of wonder to certain images. I know that this photograph is documenting a step in a process, but this was not my initial response to this image.

In the case of this photograph, I saw it first as sculpture. Not as utilitarian support. Not as a temporary object. I looked at the overall shape, the materials, and how they were used. I appreciate the photographic composition and the black and white tones. Then, I began to consider its intended use.   Read more

Fabulous Fotos: Meet Cricket, the mighty tinclad

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USS Cricket (1863-1865, “Tinclad” # 6), The Mariners’ Museum and Park, #MS0091-02.-01-0096

Upon first glance, this vessel appears to be just another steamboat. The word tinclad piqued my interest. Naturally, I am familiar with ironclads from our exhibition Ironclad Revolution and the conservation of USS Monitor’s turret in our Batten Conservation Complex. But tinclad vessels? Sounds a bit wimpy to me.  It turns out that Cricket has a great history, albeit not significant, in the American Civil War.   Read more