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.