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South Street Seaport Museum

South Street Seaport Museum A cultural institution dedicated to telling the story of rise of New York as a port city and its cri HOWARD. Here we have a museum of the people.

I like to imagine Fulton and South Streets in 1812 when Peter Schermerhorn completed the 12 buildings that comprise Schermerhorn Row, when people came from all over New York to marvel at this row of Federal-style warehouses on the East River. In those days the piers were crowded with ships from all over the world discharging their cargoes of coffee, tea, cotton, molasses, and countless other trade

I like to imagine Fulton and South Streets in 1812 when Peter Schermerhorn completed the 12 buildings that comprise Schermerhorn Row, when people came from all over New York to marvel at this row of Federal-style warehouses on the East River. In those days the piers were crowded with ships from all over the world discharging their cargoes of coffee, tea, cotton, molasses, and countless other trade

Operating as usual

💌 Bring 19th century maritime craft tradition to your handmade Valentines with the Seaport Museum! Join us in the 12 Ful...
02/05/2023

💌 Bring 19th century maritime craft tradition to your handmade Valentines with the Seaport Museum! Join us in the 12 Fulton Street introduction galleries next weekend to create your own special trinket for the holiday and learn about the unique history of Sailors’ Valentines—tokens of love and friendship.

Historically, these small wooden boxes were given by seafarers to their friends and loved ones when they returned from a long voyage. Families and friends of all ages are invited to the Seaport Museum, where we’ll use beads, buttons, and shells to continue the tradition together.

This event is free, but please let us know you’re coming by registering at seaportmuseum.org/valentine-like-sailor.

Today is Take Your Child to the Library Day! What a perfect day to sit together with your kids and read the beloved mari...
02/04/2023

Today is Take Your Child to the Library Day! What a perfect day to sit together with your kids and read the beloved maritime-themed Eric Carle books in the small library within the engaging free exhibition, “Seaport Discovery: Exploring Our Waters with Eric Carle.”

In addition to picture books, the Seaport Discovery room features maritime-themed murals that bring families into Carle's books “A House for Hermit Crab” and “10 Little Rubber Ducks.” When you visit, you can also enjoy activities like meeting a live hermit crab, driving ferries on a giant play-table, and learning about cargo ships through the eyes of a rubber duck—all while exploring Carle's use of color and pattern.

The exhibition is designed specifically for children aged 2–7 and their adults. Learn more and book your FREE tickets in advance at seaportmuseum.org/seaport-discovery, or just stop by today to enjoy our Eric Carle library and exhibition.

The exhibition is organized in cooperation with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

It's US National Archives’ first  of 2023! Follow  on Twitter today to see items we’re sharing from the Seaport Museum’s...
02/03/2023

It's US National Archives’ first of 2023! Follow on Twitter today to see items we’re sharing from the Seaport Museum’s collection that celebrate Black inventors, craft makers, and designers who have shaped the world.

One of the works of art we are highlighting is the Sailors’ Valentines, small wooden boxes given by seafarers to their friends and loved ones when they returned from a long voyage. But don’t let the name fool you; these charming objects had no specific link to February 14th or Valentine’s Day, and modern scholarship reveals they have no specific link to the myth of their creation by lonely sailors. Originally, these pieces were thought to have been made by whalemen inspired by the latest European art styles––including 19th century Victorian ladies' parlor arts, such as collage-making. But, modern research points out that these “fancy work” items were for sale in Bridgetown, Barbados and were made by women on the island who created beautiful designs from seashells.

As is the case with many works of art, correct attribution and historical understanding of these beautifully designed and crafted objects is evolving, allowing historians and institutions to bring to the forefront historically under-recognized artists, who are often female, and often of color.

Learn more about these delightful works of art and contemporary investigation into their evolution in our latest Collections Chronicle Blog at seaportmuseum.org/rethinking-sailors-valentines/. Director of Collections Martina Caruso illuminates the hidden cultural exchange and craft labor that these specific charming works hide.

The Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam implemented its city charter on February 2, 1653. On this day, the Records of New ...
02/02/2023

The Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam implemented its city charter on February 2, 1653. On this day, the Records of New Amsterdam begin, and on February 10th, the Burgomasters and Schepens, roughly equivalent to today’s Mayor and City Council, held their first formal meeting.

In 1653, the Dutch and English were in the midst of the First Anglo-Dutch War (1652–1654). In New England, English troops were amassing, and rumors of this reached the small colony of New Amsterdam. Against this backdrop, New Amsterdam formed its first city government.

Soon after, on March 13, 1653, an emergency meeting brought together the Director General, Peter Stuyvesant (1592–1672), his Council, and the Court of Burgomasters and Schepens. The group discussed that it was essential for Fort Amsterdam to be repaired and strengthened and resolved to raise money for defense and arm a ship for war in the harbor.

To learn more about the history and meetings in New York in the 1660s, check out the NYC Department of Records online records. These original Dutch records were translated and published in the 1800s, making them available to scholars for well over 100 years!

Image: Henry Stoessel (1909-1984). “New Amsterdam in 1660” mid-20th century. Oil on canvas. Gift of Janet U. Schaefer 1983.043.0001

Throughout Black History Month, the Seaport Museum is celebrating the legacy of Black sailors, craftspeople, and influen...
02/01/2023

Throughout Black History Month, the Seaport Museum is celebrating the legacy of Black sailors, craftspeople, and influential figures around the Port of NY and beyond. Our new Objects of the Month for February are these tongs that were used to handle and shape heated metal by blacksmith Simon Douglas (1843–1950).

While signed artworks let us know who created them, tools usually tell us only a little about the lives of the people who used them. Though millions of metalworkers, carpenters, shipwrights, and other craftspeople shaped the Port of New York over centuries, many remain anonymous. Fortunately, these large tongs were donated with the name of the blacksmith who owned them.

Simon Douglas was born into slavery in South Carolina. Like thousands of other enslaved men and women, Douglas was ordered to labor for Confederate troops during the American Civil War. Douglas freed himself from enslavement and moved north with the Union Army, ultimately settling in Fairview, New Jersey, in 1864, where he opened his blacksmith and farrier shop that he operated well into his nineties. Douglas himself likely crafted these tongs. Near the end of his life, his story was recorded in several newspapers, where he was noted as being one of the first Black men to cast a vote in Englewood, NJ.

Image: “Tongs” 19th century. Iron. Gift of James R. Crane, Sr., South Street Seaport Museum 1974.037.0007, .0012-.0013

On January 30, 1862, USS Monitor was launched into the East River, ready for battle. During the Civil War, President Abr...
01/30/2023

On January 30, 1862, USS Monitor was launched into the East River, ready for battle.

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called for the creation of the Union's first ironclad warship after the discovery that the Confederate Navy was constructing its own impenetrable ironclad in Virginia. In response, the Monitor was designed by Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson and constructed at the Continental Ironworks in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where it was completed in just 100 days. After her launch on January 30, she was outfitted and commissioned on February 25—under the command of Lieutenant John L. Worden—and put to water on March 6. Two days later, she would be tested at the Battle of Hampton Roads. This postcard shows USS Monitor in the foreground, firing at USS Merrimac during the famed Battle on March 8 and 9, 1862.

Today, the remains of USS Monitor rest on the ocean floor off North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where the vessel sank in a storm on December 31, 1862, after a short career of only 11 months or so. Discovered in 1973, Monitor’s wreckage site was designated as the nation’s first national marine sanctuary in 1975. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) manages the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, whose purpose is to preserve this iconic vessel’s historical record and interpret its role in shaping US naval history.

Image: A.C. Bosselman & Co., publisher. “Monitor and Merrimac” n.d. Gift of Wendell Lorang 2005.051.0293

Join the South Street Seaport Museum for our Sea Chantey and Maritime Music event next Sunday, February 5, at 2pm ET, pr...
01/29/2023
Sea Chanteys and Maritime Music - South Street Seaport Museum

Join the South Street Seaport Museum for our Sea Chantey and Maritime Music event next Sunday, February 5, at 2pm ET, presented in the hybrid format both in-person and on Zoom! This Winter, each event will feature a 45-minute performance by local artists singing traditional maritime work songs and ballads. Sing along with the featured guests or just sit back and enjoy the performance. Afterward, the stage will open for a round-robin where attendees can sing and share their favorite chantey.

Singers of all levels, as well as listeners, are welcome to join in the choruses or request a song in the round-robin. This month's featured singers are Sean and Deirdre Murtha, who will perform traditional chanteys from around the world with various instruments.

The event is free and open to both in-person and virtual attendees. Advance registration is required. Don't miss this chance to immerse yourself in the rich tradition of maritime music! Sign up and learn more at seaportmuseum.org/chanteysing

Image: Rafael Cabrera (Chilean, b. 1904), [Rowing club members dancing on Wavertree’s foredeck] May 5, 1929. Photographic print. Gift of Rafael Cabrera, South Street Seaport Museum Archives.

Join a sea chantey sing

Today is Daisy Day, so what a perfect time to feature this colorful tea crate label. This label, printed on delicate ric...
01/28/2023

Today is Daisy Day, so what a perfect time to feature this colorful tea crate label. This label, printed on delicate rice paper, advertises the “flowery bouquet” of Daisy Chop Formosa Oolong. Oolong teas, which are somewhere between green and black teas in oxidation, were first introduced to the American market in the mid 19th century.

In the decades following the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), the United States became the second-largest tea importer from China and the second-largest tea consumer outside of Asia. The newly independent country’s first trade mission to China departed from New York City on February 22, 1784. The ship, Empress of China, set sail for Canton (today Guangzhou) with a copy of the Declaration of Independence and copies of trade agreements made with European nations. One of the owners of Empress, Daniel Parker, instructed Captain John Green that “You will probably be the first who shall display the American Flag in those distant regions and a regard to your own personal honor will induce You to render it respectable by integrity and benevolence in all your Conduct and dealings.”

Image: “Formosa Oolong Tea Label”, ca. 1900. Rice paper, ink. Gift of James Benenson Jr. 1994.023.0011

From 1898 to 1950, various companies operated local trolley lines over the Brooklyn Bridge, taking passengers from Brook...
01/26/2023

From 1898 to 1950, various companies operated local trolley lines over the Brooklyn Bridge, taking passengers from Brooklyn and Queens to the Park Row terminal in Lower Manhattan. These transportation lines entered the bridge from Fulton Street or Sands Street in Downtown Brooklyn, with some using elevated trackage at the Sands Street railway station. The first service between the two ends of the bridge—the official Brooklyn Bridge Local Trolley—was introduced on this day in 1908. When service ended in 1950, automobiles began using the trolley lanes.

On the right side of this ca. 1900 glass plate negative, we see a trolley on the bridge approaching the Brooklyn Bridge tower. In the background of this aerial view is the lower Manhattan waterfront, and, in the East River, it’s easy to spot a two masted schooner approaching the pass under the bridge.

Image: George P. Hall & Son, photographers. “Schooner beats across East River beneath Brooklyn Bridge” ca. 1900. Silver gelatin dry plate negative. Donation in memory of Otto Verne 1976.004.0002

Happy ! From postcards to legal documents, the South Street Seaport Museum collection and archive include thousands of e...
01/23/2023

Happy ! From postcards to legal documents, the South Street Seaport Museum collection and archive include thousands of examples of handwriting from centuries of waterborne travel and trade. Today, we’re highlighting the entry made by Booker T. Washington (1856–1915) in an ocean liner captain’s souvenir autograph book, where he wrote, “In remembrance of two very pleasant voyages across the Atlantic with Captain Högemann. Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee, Alabama, U.S.A.” Though Washington didn’t include his title, he was the President of the Tuskegee Institute (today Tuskegee University), had served as an advisor to multiple US Presidents, and was one of the most influential Civil Rights leaders at the time this note was written.

Washington is one of many notable individuals who signed this autograph book that was compiled over a decade of First-class ocean liner travel. Through it, we get a glimpse into the world of transatlantic high society. Along with Booker T. Washington, the book features signatures from the Wright Brothers, Edith Gould, Guglielmo Marconi, and John Jacob Astor IV, among the hundreds of messages and notes, lyrics and poems, drawings and artwork penned by passengers on their intercontinental journeys.

If you haven’t read it, this past Collections Chronicles blog post dives into this incredible artifact. Click this link to learn more: seaportmuseum.org/recent-acquisition-captain-hogemanns-book/

Images: Details of “Kapitän Dietrich Högemann Book”, 1899-1913. Mixed media. Gift of Dr. Richard McKelvy Martin and Penny Martin, 2018.005

Happy Lunar New Year! The Lunar calendar consists of a repeating twelve-year cycle, with each year corresponding to one ...
01/22/2023

Happy Lunar New Year! The Lunar calendar consists of a repeating twelve-year cycle, with each year corresponding to one of the twelve animals. The twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac are, in sequence: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each is believed to embody certain traits that are believed to be manifested in the personalities of people born in that year.

Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit, a popular figure in literature and folklore believed to inhabit the moon and assist the goddess Chang’e by preparing her elixir of immortality. We found these cute rabbits in the Seaport Museum printing history collection, used today by printers at Bowne & Co. to print contemporary ephemera.

🐇🐇: [Rabbit printing plates] early 20th century. Magnesium cut, and copper photo engraving. South Street Seaport Museum Printing History Working Collection

The Seaport Museum’s free Book Club returns with a book boasting a truly unique perspective on New York’s history. This ...
01/21/2023

The Seaport Museum’s free Book Club returns with a book boasting a truly unique perspective on New York’s history.

This month, Robert Sullivan's The New York Times bestseller “Rats: Observations on the History & Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants” gives us a rat's-eye-view of Manhattan. In this book, Sullivan manages to turn the lowly rat into the star of this most intriguing and unexpectedly elegant publication.

The Seaport Museum Book Club meets on the last Monday of the month at Mcnally Jackson Seaport (4 Fulton Street). For more information and to register to join Seaport Museum staff for this month’s informal discussion on 1/30 at 6:30pm celebrating our shared love of literature, history, and preservation, visit seaportmuseum.org/bookclub.

This event will be presented in partnership with McNally Jackson Seaport, where you can enjoy a 10% off discount code for online orders of “Rats” when you register for the Book Club.

On this day in 1866, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper published an image depicting Irish immigrants preparing to dep...
01/20/2023

On this day in 1866, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper published an image depicting Irish immigrants preparing to depart the city of Cahersiveen for a new life in the United States. Approximately 4.5 million Irish immigrants made the journey across the Atlantic Ocean between the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Irish Potato Famine, also known as the Great Hunger, is regarded as the leading cause of this large wave of immigration. Beginning in 1845, the Famine killed one million people within five years and caused agricultural devastation across Ireland. Irish refugees chose to leave their homeland in favor of the opportunities offered in America, with nearly half of all immigrants who arrived in the 1840s being from Ireland.

The impact of this mass immigration is still felt throughout America’s population for nearly two centuries. 31.5 million Americans claim Irish ancestry, which is about 20% of the US population!

Image: Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, publisher. “Irish Emigrants Leaving Their Home for America”, January 20, 1866. Gift of Fritz Gold 1993.022.0005

This Throwback Thursday takes us to 1884 when the Hudson River was busy with sailing ships, steamships, and small craft....
01/19/2023

This Throwback Thursday takes us to 1884 when the Hudson River was busy with sailing ships, steamships, and small craft. This painting depicts several types of vessels that were once relatively common: on the left, a sidewheel towboat maneuvers a two-masted schooner, while a combination steam-and-sail vessel can be seen docked behind them. This impressive ocean liner contrasts with the more humble barge in the foreground right, where someone has hung a line of laundry to dry.

Painter Andrew W. Melrose (1836–1901) immigrated from Scotland to the United States in 1856 and would eventually work largely from studios in Hoboken and Guttenberg, New Jersey. He was represented by the Matthews Gallery in New York City, where he showed large landscape paintings in the style of Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900)—a central figure in the Hudson River School landscape painting movement.

Image: Andrew W. Melrose (Scottish-American, 1836-1901). “New York from New Jersey”, 1884. Oil on canvas. Peter A. and Jack R. Aron Collection, South Street Seaport Museum Foundation 1991.068.0067

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I like to imagine Fulton and South Streets in 1812 when Peter Schermerhorn completed the 12 buildings that comprise Schermerhorn Row, when people came from all over New York to marvel at this row of Federal-style warehouses on the East River. In those days the piers were crowded with ships from all over the world discharging their cargoes of coffee, tea, cotton, molasses, and countless other trade goods upon the piers of South Street. The trade represented by these ships and the counting-houses, hotels, and warehouses of the South Street Seaport is the very trade that built the growing New York City and through it the United States of America. In the late 1960s, visionary preservationists set aside a collection of entire city blocks in the South Street Seaport district as an area worthy of care and attention. These blocks of early- to mid- nineteenth century buildings, coupled with a series of piers crowded with historic ships would tell the vital story of the formation and growth of New York, a city built on—and because of—its deep natural harbor and its connection through the Erie Canal to the inner states and territories of the new nation. Today, more than two hundred years after Schermerhorn Row was completed, New York is a very different place. The Row is no longer the largest building in the city; it is dwarfed in fact by the surrounding financial district. The piers are no longer crowded with ships, but that same deep-water harbor is seeing a renaissance of education, of commercial and ferry service, of oyster aquaculture, and of attention from New Yorkers. Indeed, now more than ever the story of the formation of New York—the story of a city built on its waterways—is critical to our city. This is not a dry history, but a living tale of growth, of sacrifice, and of opportunity. The story and its reverberations play out in the education programs aboard our schooners PIONEER and LETTIE G. HOWARD. They are carried in the hearts of the scores of volunteers who work regularly and without pay to preserve our tug W.O. DECKER and the mighty square-riggers PEKING and WAVERTREE. They burn brightly in the lamps of the lightship AMBROSE. Although Hurricane Sandy is behind us, the challenges we face are still daunting. However the very same spirit that led Schermerhorn and others to build, to grow, and to prosper in early New York will once again carry the day. For here we have a Museum, not of artifacts and buildings and ships, though we have those. Not of interpretive signs, galleries, and stories, though those abound as well. Here we have a museum of the people. A museum that thrives as the beating heart of the historic South Street Seaport district. Welcome to South Street Seaport Museum. Our dedicated staff and volunteers (who are educators, sailors, preservationists, and some of the finest humans on the planet) are ready to welcome you aboard our ships and into our galleries and shops. We work together toward the next successful chapter of our “little museum that could.” Please join us for a visit, join as a member, and join the ranks of the proud volunteers who take a firsthand role in the preservation of old New York and the building of new New York. I look forward to seeing you soon at South Street. Captain Jonathan Boulware Executive Director


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The passing of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II leaves behind a rich legacy of 70 years of leadership, and among her many connections that will be long remembered is her connection to ocean liners that bear her blessing and serve with the same dignity and grace she showed the world throughout her long reign.

While still Princess Elizabeth, the future monarch launched Cunard White Star Line’s RMS Caronia in October 1947. The ship was one of the first built for both transatlantic ocean liner crossings as well as luxury passenger cruise travel. As such, the vessel introduced new features to attract new passengers, including an outdoor swimming pool and private bathroom facilities for every cabin.

On December 30, 1967, Queen Elizabeth II named the Cunard Line vessel that also bears her name, Queen Elizabeth 2. The ship, however, is not directly named for the monarch Queen Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary), but is actually the second vessel in Cunard Line to be named for her mother, at the time the Queen Mother, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, Queen Elizabeth.

In January 2004, Queen Elizabeth II christened another Cunard vessel, Queen Mary 2, which today remains a renown ocean liner sailing anywhere in the world. Named for Mary of Teck, consort to King George V, the Queen Mary 2 is the second liner in Cunard’s history to bear the royal name. The first, Queen Mary, served the line from 1936 to 1967.

While there will be no future ocean liners or cruise ships christened by the beloved monarch, each of these vessels honors Queen Elizabeth II in its own way with excellent service, dignity, and grace, part of the legacy this remarkable woman has left to the world.

Welcome, Danmark! On the occasion of the Danish tall training ship visiting South Street, (docking in a few hours!) our Director of Collections dove into our archives and special collections to learn more about her many visits to New York City over the decades for our Collections Chronicles blog. She found exciting material covering Danmark, including this image of our own of Pioneer welcoming her in New York Harbor in April of 1974.

Danmark is the first of many more visiting vessels returning to South Street, continuing to bring people to the waterways while capturing the imagination, forging connections, and serving as a platform for discussing contemporary topics and opportunities tied to our oceans. With visits like these, New York Harbor remains an inspiration for an ever-evolving tradition.

Read our latest blog entry titled “Celebrating Sail: Danmark’s Visit and Centuries of Ship Demonstrations” at seaportmuseum.org/celebrating-sail and come down to the north side of Pier 17 to see this incredible ship, learn more about Denmark’s long maritime history as well as contemporary sustainability issues during Climate Week NYC 2022 (September 19–25).

Image: “Pioneer welcoming Danmark” April 1974. South Street Seaport Museum Archives.

Today is the first day of , a month celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of those in the United States whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The histories of Latino and Latinas in America are diverse. They include the experiences of people with cultural, religious, and linguistic traditions from Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, among other nations from Latin America and Iberia. It is impossible to tell the experiences of these various groups with a single history. Some arrived in the United States as immigrants or refugees, while others trace their ancestry to Spanish-speaking or indigenous peoples living in North America long before the establishment of the United States. The breadth of Latino/a experience is a vital aspect of America's rich and diverse past.

Chile is one of many South American nations that has maritime ties to New York City, and it is also connected to the Museum’s 1885 tall-ship Wavertree. After Wavertree was dismasted in a storm off Cape Horn in 1910, she was converted into a floating warehouse off Punta Arenas.

On Sunday, September 18, the Museum will throw a Fonda on board Wavertree with traditional Chilean food, dance, and music celebrating Chilean Independence Day with Fiestas Patrias. This free event is from 12:00-2:00pm, with no registration required. Learn more about it at seaportmuseum.org/fiestas-patrias

Image: “Port of Call Flag, Chile”, 20th century. Gift of Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc. 1976.008.0009

Come sailing in the autumn breeze! The September wind produces exceptional sailing weather, and the views are just stunning. Bring aboard an afternoon snack or dinner, beverages or a bottle of wine, and don’t forget your sweater. Sailing in September is breathtaking but can be chilly.

The sailing schedule is:
Wednesday: 6:30pm
Thursday: 6:30pm
Friday: 6:30pm
Saturday: 1pm, 4pm, 6:30pm
Sunday: 1pm, 4pm

And remember: tickets to sail on Pioneer include Museum admission. Make it a day down at the Seaport!

So, what are you waiting for? Get your tickets before the season is over at seaportmuseum.org/pioneer

Photo credit Gabriel Ellison-Scowcroft

from Climate Group runs September 19-25, 2022, bringing together the most influential leaders in climate action from business, government, and the climate community, in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly and the City of New York. Climate Week NYC creates an ambitious platform to drive climate action. At the Seaport Museum, we’re kicking off the week by making paper on the cobblestones in front of the Bowne & Co., at 211 Water Street, on Saturday, September 17, 12-2pm.

Led by Rob Wilson, Bowne & Co.’s Art Director and Operations Manager, this free, family-friendly workshop will teach you how to create sustainable materials for your own future art project. Stop in and spend the afternoon learning with us. No registration needed. Visit seaportmuseum.org/paper-making for more information.

Today we join our neighbors at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, and all across New York City and the world, in honoring the memory of those who were lost in the 9/11 attacks, reflecting on the World Trade Center tragedy, and remembering how New Yorkers came together to help one another heal and rebuild.

For the 20th Anniversary last year, the Seaport Museum lit up some of our facades in sky blue as part of “Tribute in Lights,” which served as a unique but simple gesture of collective remembrance that illuminates the city each year on the evening of September 11. This year we’re resharing this image of Wavertree in blue, as we remember the iconic presence of the World Trade Center twin towers in New York Harbor.

On today’s , let’s look at a ferry of the turn of the 20th century: C.W. Morse.
C. W. Morse was a steel-hulled steamship built for the People’s Line of Albany in 1903. She was a luxurious ship that commuted passengers between New York City and Albany and was often described as a “regular floating palace.” Her entrance was characterized by a richly finished lobby or reception hall, with a mahogany stairway that led up to the dining saloon with a seating capacity of 300 people, as seen in this postcard. The ferry was also equipped with electric thermostat, fire alarms, automatic whistles, watchman's clock, telephones for special service, and when auxiliaries were not run by steam, electric motors were put in use.

Passengers on this ship would have mailed back these postcards noting that this was the ship they traveled on like this message: "Dear Geo, / Mr & Mrs Hill / Harold, Dad & I are having / our supper on / this boat, what do you think of this / Momma."

In the fall of 1917, the C.W. Morse was acquired by the Federal Government and taken to the Brooklyn Navy Yard where she was used for housing navy recruits. At the close of the war she was returned to her old route. In 1923 she was renamed the “Fort Orange” and continued in regular service until 1927 when she fell into disuse until she was partially broken up in 1935.

This Saturday, September 10 at 6pm aboard Wavertree join us for “History and Heroism,” a conversation with historian and author Jessica DuLong and Manhattan Borough historian Robert Snyder about the complexities of how historians, artists, and the public define “heroes.”

Inspired by DuLong’s writing, we will examine how choosing to emphasize heroic acts might “include more people in the circle of those who see themselves as helpers capable of heroism.” The panelists’ personal experiences surrounding the tragic events of 9/11 will serve as the catalyst for a thoughtful discussion. To register for this free event, visit seaportmuseum.org/history-and-heroism
in 1939 Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc. shot this aerial photo of the West Side piers of Manhattan. The main protagonists of this photograph are the ships docked around the West Side Elevated Highway, from bottom of photo to top: two French liners SS Champlain and SS Normandie, the British RMS Queen Mary, and the Italian SS Roma.

In 2018 we acquired a series of aerial photographs by Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc. to assist the Museum in studying and celebrating New York’s natural harbor, the development of the Port of New York as the primary commercial and passenger gate to America, and the relations of it with the rest of the world in the mid-20th century. The collection consists of almost 300 black and white aerial photographs taken by Fairchild Aerial Surveys in the first half of the 20th century, depicting ships in and around New York Harbor, including barges, lightships, tankers, ferries, tugboats, floating drydocks, magnificent ocean liners, and Hudson River excursion vessels. Explore more of our outstanding Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc. Photography Collection for free on our Collections Online Portal at seaportmuseum.org/collectionsonline

Image: Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc., photographers. “Champlain, Normandie, Queen Marie, and Roma in Dock” September 6, 1939. Gift from an anonymous donor 2018.008.0188

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