Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Mariners' Museum, Part Two: The Crabtree Collection and Other Eras

This second part of my post details the rest of what The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia has to offer. In part one, I have already detailed the outstanding section concerning the American Civil War, most notably the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, but there is so much more to see.

The Mariners' Museum is indeed one of the premier attractions in the Hampton Roads area of southeast Virginia. Loaded with tons of historical exhibits, the museum also houses one of the largest collection of ship models in the world.

The museum also boasts an on-site modelling shop with many ships on display.

The modelling section of the museum

Ships from all eras, military and commercial are on display

The on-site modellers were more than willing to discuss their projects

Another example of magnificent craftsmanship

In my opinion, the next section is the crown jewel of the museum. Here is the Crabtree collection, considered one of the finest ship model collections in the world.  It's located in a side room, so it's easy to miss. Luckily, we had a superb museum guide who guided us to this section. The models are incredible and feature "no glue."  All fasteners were hand-made out of wood to simulate the actual technology that was present in history. There are also multiple films detailing the process. Fascinating. 

The workmanship is even more amazing considering that Mr. Crabtree was forced to fabricate many of his own sculpturing tools in order to be as detailed as possible. 

Leaving the Crabtree collection, we were greeted by even more ship models built in the museum's shop. 

Continuing on from the modelling section of the museum, there were multiple exhibits covering all parts of naval history.

The ensign from the CSS Alabama

 Up next is an entire section covering the Napoleonic Wars, featuring the legacy of Admiral Nelson

 The Admiral greets you as you enter 

 An interactive display demonstrating the weight of typical cannon-balls onboard ship

A model ship made of bone by French prisoners in a British prison-barge....absolutely amazing

Venturing out of the Napoleonic section, we exited the museum looking at artifacts from the discovery of the New World. Above are several Portuguese weapons. 

As our trip to The Mariners' Museum came to an end, I was amazed at the sheer amount of historical exhibits contained within. The entire family had a great time and I, especially, resolved to visit again. For anyone interested in naval history and ship modelling, this museum is a must-see !

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