“In the Land of Submarines”: Moving Nishimura 3746

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The sub has been in outdoor storage for several decades. Mariners’ Museum # 1946.0002.000001. Courtesy of: Amanda Shields/The Mariners’ Museum and Park.

We can handle a lot of heavy lifting with our staff, but sometimes we need to call on outside experts for help. Such was the case with No. 3746, a Japanese mini-submarine designed by Nishimura Ishimatsu. We needed to lift the sub onto a custom cradle and relocate it. Often this is a simple task with objects in the Museum’s Collection; however, due to the sub’s size (35 feet long and 20 tons), there was no way we could do this in-house.

This “simple” task was actually the culmination of several years’ worth of planning and only possible due to many people’s support.  The Museum’s Bronze Door Society approved the funding of a custom cradle for the submarine during their 2019 annual dinner.  The cradle would fully support the hull and make it easier to move the sub. We could also conserve and display the submarine in its new support. Hannah, our archaeologist, shared with the Society why the sub is so special and the need for a new support. You can learn more about the history of the sub and the start of the project in our past “In the Land of Submarines” series posts; historyassessing; and documenting.   Read more

“In the Land of Submarines”: Documenting Nishimura 3746

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Japanese submarine Nishimura 3746 in 2020

This week “in the Land of Submarines” we’re focusing on documenting the Japanese submarine Nishimura 3746. Previously we talked about its history and our initial assessment of the hull. All this activity is in preparation of moving the sub onto a custom cradle and to a new home. 

Since it’s arrival at the Museum in 1946, the sub has been displayed and stored outside. At 35 feet long and 22 tons, keeping it inside wasn’t an option at an institution where space is at a premium. As we prepare the sub for lifting one of our major steps is documenting its condition. After 82 years the hull is still sound, however we’re paying particular attention to the keel.    Read more