After a drunken evening in New York’s lavish Union Club, three of the richest men in America made a bet that would change the course of yachting history. Six men died in the brutal first race across the Atlantic, turning the perception of yachting from gentleman’s pursuit to rugged adventure. The $90,000 prize (about $15 million today) helped to herald the “gilded age” of America.
Sam Jefferson’s new book Gordon Bennett and the First Yacht Race Across the Atlantic (Bloomsbury, 2016) tells the tale of James Gordon Bennett, Jr., the playboy son of the New York Herald multi-millionaire. Continue reading
In The Heroic Age of Diving: America’s Underwater Pioneers and the Great Wrecks of Lake Erie (SUNY Press Excelsior Editions, 2016), Jerry Kuntz shares the fascinating stories of the pioneers of underwater invention and the brave divers who employed the new technologies as they raced with – and against – marine engineers to salvage the tragic wrecks of Lake Erie.
Beginning in 1837, some of the most brilliant engineers of America’s Industrial Revolution turned their attention to undersea technology. Inventors developed practical hard-helmet diving suits, as well as new designs of submarines, diving bells, floating cranes, and undersea explosives. These innovations were used to clear shipping lanes, harvest pearls, mine gold, and wage war. Continue reading
The Great Shipwrecks of NY’s ‘Great’ Lakes Traveling Exhibit developed by New York Sea Grant will be installed at The State University of New York at Albany Gallery, 353 Broadway, Albany, from May 4 to May 27, 2016. Admission to the exhibit from 10 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday is free. Continue reading
The Port/Cities Project will present the World Premiere of Port Cities NYC, written, directed and choreographed by Talya Chalef. This theatrical journey begins at Pier 11 in the Financial District, where audiences ferry across the harbor accompanied by an original soundscape. After docking in Red Hook’s working port, the performance continues on board The Waterfront Museum Barge. This limited engagement runs May 5 – 19. Continue reading
What did it mean to be a citizen during the late-18th and early-19th centuries?
Why and how did early American sailors seem intent on proving their citizenship to the United States?
In this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, we explore citizenship and maritime life during the Age of Revolutions with Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, author of Citizen Sailors: Becoming American in the Age of Revolution (Belknap Press, 2015). You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/076
Owen Chase was the first mate on the ill-fated American whaling ship Essex, which was attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in the southern Pacific Ocean in 1820.
The crew spent months at sea in leaking boats and endured the blazing sun, attacks by killer whales, and lack of food. The men were forced to resort to cannibalism before the final eight survivors were rescued. Continue reading
Spirits of the Passage: Stories of the Transatlantic Slave Trade opens in August on board the museum ship Lilac at Hudson River Park’s Pier 25.
The exhibit covers aspects of the maritime trade in African slaves combined with profiles of slaves, former slaves, abolitionists and others whose lives were touched by the global slave trafficking industry. Continue reading
The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s schooner Lois McClure, in anticipation of her twelfth year of operation, has been taken to the New York State Canal Corporation shipyard at Waterford, NY for a haul-out and hull maintenance. There, a team of shipwrights working with David Short of North Atlantic Shipbuilding and Repair, of West Montville, ME are expected to replace worn, damaged or rotted planking and timbers and recaulk seams. Continue reading
Music, boat rides, walk-through’s of working tugboats, food vendors, arts, crafts, kid’s activities, and fireworks are just some of what visitors can expect at the 16th annual Tugboat Roundup in Waterford the weekend after Labor Day, September 11, 12 and 13th. Continue reading
In 1798, Robert R. Livingston, Jr. (1746-1813) requested and obtained a monopoly from the New York State Legislature granting him the exclusive right to operate passenger steamboats on the Hudson River.
The Livingston family was very wealthy and owned the large estate, Clermont, just south of Albany. They ran an iron foundry and machine shop for many years where they had installed a steam engine to power the equipment. Continue reading