News
PowerShips #310 is here!

The Summer issue of PowerShips is landing in mailboxes across the country, but there's still time to get in on the action. Click here to join or renew your membership, or click here to order a single copy. Make sure you don't miss it!

Queen Elizabeth 2: The Early Years

In “Lives of the Liners,” Bill Miller talks about the trials and tribulations that Cunard faced as it worked to replace the Queen Elizabeth in the 1960s. The company weathered design changes, cash flow problems and even a six-week maritime strike to ultimately complete one of history’s most iconic vessels, the Queen Elizabeth 2.

Presidential Yachts: 1880–1921

Presidential yachts were used to transport presidents to important ceremonies, serve as venues for international diplomacy and host both foreign and domestic dignitaries. Gary Lombardo, PhD, presents an intriguing story of their service to the United States, introducing us to the first three presidential yachts – the Despatch, the Dolphin and the Sylph.

The Port of Da Nang, Vietnam: 1966–67

Little has been written about South Vietnam’s seaports and their role in the Vietnam War. David Hendrickson offers a pictorial history of Da Nang, the primary military port during the war, which had to be significantly and quickly updated to meet the needs of the U.S. Navy.

The Demise of the MV Union Reliance

The Union Reliance, which started out as a C3-M cargo ship in 1939, sailed under six different names and five different Ports of Registry. Eric Pearson presents the ship’s unique history as an aircraft carrier and migrant ship, as well as its eventual collision and demise.

Help us put another brick in the wall

We are continuing to build up the Ship History Center brick by brick thanks to the support of our members.

Memorial bricks now line the walls at our headquarters, but there's still time to get your request in before the next order goes out. Help us recognize the people, places and iconic vessels that have supported our organization throughout the last eight decades, and make sure the Ship History Center and SSHSA's impressive archive are around for generations to come.

Purchasing an inscribed brick is a timeless way to honor a ship, friend, family member or crewmate, past or present. Standard 4-by-8 inch bricks are $95, and a large 8-by-8 inch brick is $175, with logos $30 extra. Dozens of symbols are available, including all branches of the U.S. military anchors, atoms, boats (square rigger and yacht), fleur-de-lis, lighthouse, maple leaf, merchant marine, oars, ribbons (cancer awareness), SSHSA burgee and more.

By purchasing a brick, you are establishing your legacy at SSHSA and supporting the future of the organization. Proceeds will help sustain operations and grow membership. Click here to order your brick online, or call us at 401-463-3570. Thanks to everyone who has donated so far!

SSHSA seeking educational website feedback

Following up on our presentation at the 11th Maritime Heritage Conference, we are in the process of mailing out informational packets about our education program to all Rhode Island high schools. Our goal is to find teachers to test our materials in their classroom and provide us with feedback. We are also nearing the deadline for the Stoltenberg Art Initiative, which will have art teachers test our lessons and primary sources with their students. Their students can then enter their artwork into a maritime art contest to win cash prizes.

If you or anyone you know is a teacher who would like to help us test our materials, email SSHSA Education Coordinator Aimee Bachari at steam@sshsa.org. Educators can also fill out our short 8 question survey on the website here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KXB5ZGH.

Grant will help build cases for unique models

If you've visited the Ship History Center in the last year, you have probably noticed the impressive models of ocean liners such as the Leviathan and the Imperator. You may have also noticed, if you looked closely, that some of the models are in need of some repairs and cleaning. Thanks to a kind grant from the Champlin Foundation, that is finally going to happen.

The models in question are part of the George Hawley Collection, named for their builder who constructed them primarily out of paper. While some of the finer points like the masts, railings and other fixtures are made of wood and glue, the majority of the ship is simply cardboard, paper and poster board. But despite using materials that some might dismiss as disposable, these amazing works of art - some of which are 6 feet or more in length - are standing the test of time.

George Hawley was born 1912 in Baldwinsville, NY. He served in World War II in Japan and stayed there for several years after the war as an educator before heading home to teach math at Baldwinsville High. Though his career lay in numbers, he had originally wanted to be an architect. His artistic side was expressed by visiting museums and copying some of the works there, and also building models. In addition to ships, Hawley carefully researched and built models of theaters and other buildings.

The Hawley models came out of storage for the first time in over a decade when the Ship History Center opened in 2015. Due to the effects of time, fragility and several moves, the models require conservation on some of the smaller fixtures, such as masts, sails, anchors and lines. Fortunately, The Champlin Foundation recently awarded SSHSA with a grant for $19,500 which will be put toward proper display cases, light cleaning, and repairs for these unique models and 20 others that are part of our collection.

The Champlin Foundation has provided us with more than $115,000 since 2007 to assist us with projects like cleaning, restoring and digitizing images from our collection so they could be displayed online in our Image Porthole. Now they have helped preserve another inimitable collection that will be on display here at the Ship History Center for years to come.