Vessel Launches: Heckin Good Images

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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

Christening Bible of the US Steamer Rhode Island

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Front cover of the Rhode Island Bible

A couple of months ago, the Museum decided it was time to begin exploring a program that would allow supporters to “adopt” items in the collections for restoration.  While the details of this program are still in the works (museums often move slowly and deliberately on such things, and rightfully so), a call went out to staff to find objects to put up for “adoption”. 

Naturally, I was interested in proposing some USS Monitor-related materials for this program, since I am the NOAA Project Archivist at the Library.  So I went casting about for ideas.  Thankfully, much of the Monitor-related material in the Library is in  good shape, not in need of extensive restoration.  But that didn’t help me in my search for items to submit for the program.    Read more