Way Back Wednesdays

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May 1973 Tour of the museum for Russian Scientists, Captain Yuryi Dimov, Leonid Kryshtyn and Aleksandr Morozov with interpreter Nataly Martin

In May of 1973 we gave a tour for several Russian Scientists, including a figurehead carving demonstration.

William T. Radcliffe was the official museum photographer for a long time and this shot of him (in 1955) preparing a model for photography is great.  Have to love those old cameras!  It also begs the question of, who is taking a photo of the photographer.   Read more

Way Back Wednesdays

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June 1934, objects on table in main room, scrimshaw display

In our early days, we often simply placed objects all over tables to show off as much of the collection as possible.  Of course this left them easily exposed to damage and theft, so we no longer display them like this, but it still looks neat.  This image is from 1934 and features a small portion of our scrimshaw collection.  The finest piece is that large panbone next to the paddle from 1857/1858 depicting the Civic Heroes of the American Revolution and the Washington Monument at Richmond.  It was made by Nathaniel Sylvester Finney, a veteran whaleman.

I believe I have posted other photographs before of our International Antarctic Exhibition before, but this one (from Jan. 23, 1963) shows Admiral Dufek being interviewed by Channel 13.   Read more

Way Back Wednesday

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Dec 23, 1974, Re-enlistment at naval memorial plaque

This image from December of 1973 shows a re-enlistment in front of Navy Memorial Plaque.  Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of the two gentlemen, but behind them to the right you can see a little bit of our walking beam engine from the steamboat Albany.

To people who have seen our courtyard, this should look somewhat familiar.  In 1972, the museum used part of the courtyard area to create the Gibbs Gallery, an exhibition celebrating William Francis Gibbs.   Read more

Way Back Wednesdays

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1972, Opening of the Gibbs Gallery

This shows the opening of the Gibbs Gallery in 1972.  The celebration is being held in the Great Hall and at the opposite end of the room was where the front of the exhibition was.  What’s great is that a lot of the pieces you see in the Great Hall are still on display in various places of the museum today.  The eagle, the figurehead on the wall and the lighthouse lens way in the back.  I believe the figurehead is in almost the exact same spot now as she was then.

This photographs show two guys putting together and exhibition featuring our model ships.  I think the map on the wall is great because you can see where the each ship type would have come from.  It reminds me of our International Small Craft Center and how we have flags hanging from the ceiling of the countries where we have boats from.   Read more

Way Back Wednesdays

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1971, Building of the Gibbs Gallery

This first picture shows construction on the Gibbs Gallery in 1971.  It was built to commemorate the achievements of William Francis Gibbs, probably best know for designing and supervising the building of SS United States.  In 1922, he and his brother, Frederic Herbert Gibbs began the company that would eventually become known as Gibbs & Cox.

Here we have the Junior League of Hampton Roads in 1961 who acted as tour guides for our visitors.  And behind them is our beautiful eagle figurehead from USS Lancaster.   Read more