Vessel Launches: Heckin Good Images

Posted on
A crowd and raised platform for the sponsor and guests are in front of a decorated vessel about to be christened.
Mariners’ Museum Collection P0001.003/01-#PB5730

The Mariners’ Museum and Park has glorious photographs in its collections, of course, many of them maritime. Despite the number of battle-at-sea images, many of the most striking visuals are vessel launches.

Transferring a vessel to water is a military tradition seen as a public celebration or even a blessing of sorts. Some of these images are so strong that you can practically feel the drama or the excitement of the crowds. There is power in a majestic vessel seen juxtaposed against the miniature people or in images capturing the ceremonial christening of launching a bottle against a hull.   Read more

A Glimpse of Early 20th-Century Life at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company

Posted on
The man himself, January 28, 1905. Charles Bailey was also administrative vice president for the project of building the Mariners’ Museum and creating the Park.

Charles Franklin Bailey (1863-1934), a native of Vermont, came to Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in 1891 as chief draftsman. Appointed chief engineer in 1900, Bailey was later named engineering director and a member of the yard’s board of directors in 1918. From its beginning, Bailey was active in the founding and success of The Apprentice School. After he retired from the shipyard in 1934, the Charles F. Bailey Award was created in his honor, recognizing the graduate with the highest scholastic average.

Bailey enjoyed photography and he created three small albums of photographs that he took between 1903 and 1905. In addition to documenting ships under construction or in for repair, there are views of the shipyard, buildings in Newport News and residences in Norfolk.   Read more