Way Back Wednesday

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bf11 11-1998, post restoration (5)

In 1998, we sent our Dutch Tjotter to the Netherlands for restoration work.  This image shows it upon its return.  The boat was built ca 1913 by Van der Werff Brothers in Sneek, Friesland, Netherlands.  It is currently on display in our International Small Craft Center.

This image shows a group of Steiff animals in a Noah’s Ark display in 1970.  We have several Noah’s Ark sets in the collection, from toys to dioramas.   Read more

Concordia Flies the Blue Peter!

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Papa (formerly known as Blue Peter), courtesy of easyflags.co.uk.

For the first time in over 2 years, the raised hulk of the Costa Concordia hoisted the Blue Peter, the flag now simply known as Papa that indicates a ship is ready to sail. And so, tugs rotated her and headed nor’nor’east and away from the coast of the Isola del Giglio. Exceptional photographic coverage of the moment can be found here.

It is strange coincidence that led to our cataloguing a book just yesterday on the Concordia that was published in 2006. Entitled simply Costa Concordia, this lovely book by Tiziana Lorenzelli gives the reader a great sense of the splendor of the liner just after it was launched. It was clearly the pride of Costa Crociere, the cruise ship company that had the liner built. This book is rather haunting to me in the same way our Titanic materials are. People died aboard this ship, and it is hard to square the beauty of it with its terrible fate and the tragedy of 32 lives confirmed lost.   Read more

She Floats!

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Well, actually, she doesn’t. The Costa Concordia, that is.

We have been covering the shipwreck and massive salvage operation of Concordia since almost the very beginning of our Port of Call blog. Bill Edwards-Bodmer brought it to our attention in a short post on January 16, 2012 (see it here). At that point, no one knew that 2 1/2 years later, that ship would still be off of the island of Giglio.   Read more

Way Back Wednesdays

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May 1935 Norfolk & Southern Bus Corp. bring guests to museum

This first image was taken in May of 1935 and shows buses from the Norfolk Southern and Bus Corp. bringing guests to the museum.  There isn’t much else going on in these photos, but I do enjoy the older vehicles.

This next image is from 1934 and shows objects that were salvaged from the York River, the most visible being the two large cannons.  We have quite a number of objects that were salvaged from the river, including a collection of over 60 bottles.   Read more

New Conversation on the SS United States

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United States Leaving Newport News Shipbuilding
Stern side of SS UNITED STATES leaving NN shipyard accompanied by Tug

Readers of this blog will have noticed our determination to bring you as much news about the wreck of Costa Concordia as we can.  Adam Frost has talked to you about the character of Captain Schettino, about the removal of the dead and of the thousands of tons of fuel from the hull of the ship, about the environmental threat that the hulk still poses for the delicate marine environment in which Concordia went down.  We will continue to bring you updates on this most challenging salvage operation until the job is done.

In the upcoming days and weeks, however, Adam and others will be shifting the conversation to pick up on the energy surrounding SS United States.  This year is the 60th anniversary of her launching and there seems to be a growing sense that this, the largest and last of the great 20th-century ocean liners, should be saved.  The local importance of United States cannot be overstated, since she was built right here at Newport News Shipbuilding and many of those employees are still with us.   Read more