Since its founding over 52 years ago, South Street Seaport Museum has faced the daunting job of preserving its historic fleet. Join us for a photographic voyage with Director of Historic Ships Jesse Lebovics to see the challenges and remarkable efforts made for the long term preservation of 1885 ship Wavertree, 1930 tugboat W.O. Decker, 1885 schooner Pioneer, and the planned upcoming work on 1907 lightship Ambrose.>> Continue reading
Coffee has long been the lifeblood of the Brooklyn economy, once as a leading commodity coming into the port, and today supporting hundreds of small coffee shops and roasters. This virtual program will look at how one Brooklyn company came to dominate the importing and roasting of coffee in the 19th century, share stories of the small roasters that have survived in Brooklyn for generations, and look at the city’s every-changing coffee landscape.
- WATCH: Roasted, History of Coffee in NYC with Brooklyn Historical Society
- Naval History Magazine, “A Cup o’ Joe”
- Brooklyn Roasting Company
- Porto Rico Importing
- Gillies Coffee
- D’Amico Coffee
One of the most frequent questions from visitors on our Brooklyn Navy Yard Tours is, where are the ships of the US Navy built today? At its height in 1966, the US Navy operated 12 shipyards that built and repaired a huge proportion of the fleet; today, it operates only four, and all ship construction is done at private yards. This virtual program with Andrew Gustafson will discuss the decline of the government shipbuilding, the major private shipyards working today, and the current and future challenges to the naval shipbuilding program.
- Google Map of US shipyards
- Shipyards of New York Harbor
- RAND Corporation (2017) A Strategic Assessment of the Future of U.S. Navy Ship Maintenance
- US Naval Institute, “Fincantieri Wins $795M Contract for Navy Frigate Program”
- US Naval Institute, “Shipbuilding Industry Struggles to Recruit And Retain Workforce”
- War on the Rocks, “More than Just a Fire: The Implications of the Bonhomme Richard Catastrophe”
Bowne & Co., Stationers opened their doors at the South Street Seaport Museum in 1975, 200 years after Robert Bowne founded his shop across the street on Queen Lane. Today Bowne & Co., continues the tradition of 19th-century letterpress printing. This virtual program with Art Director Rob Wilson – co-hosted with Stefan Dreisbach Williams from the home of Robert Bowne’s ancestors, the 1661 Bowne House in Flushing, Queens – investigates the changing role that stationery and printing offices played in New York City, and the ways in which Bowne & Co., uses its collection of 34 printing presses, and more than 2,400 cases of movable type in contemporary ways today.
- Support the South Street Seaport Museum
- South Street Seaport Museum, “Hidden Gems: Clipper Ship Cards”
When the Brooklyn Navy Yard was founded in 1801, more than a quarter of the inhabitants of Kings County were enslaved, and 60% of households included an enslaved person. This program will look at how the institution of slavery was intricately linked to the operations of the Yard, even after New York enacted emancipation in 1827. From timber, rope, and nails produced by enslaved labor in the South, to the enslaved people living and working at the Yard itself, the institution of slavery was embedded in the life of the Navy. This program will be hosted by our Brooklyn Navy Yard historian Andrew Gustafson.
- Slavery and the Brooklyn Navy Yard
- New York Slavery Records Index (John Jay College)
- McNally, William (1839). Evils and Abuses in the Naval and Merchant Service Exposed
- Hodges, Graham Russell (2005). Root & Branch: African Americans in New York and East Jersey, 1613-1863
- Wilder, Craig Steven (2000). A Covenant with Color: Race and Social Power in Brooklyn 1636-1990
- Peterson, Carla L. (2011). Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York
- Eltis, David and David Richardson (2015). Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
- Bolster, W. Jeffery (1997). Black Jacks: African American Seamen in the Age of Sail
On June 25, 1966, the Brooklyn Navy Yard closed its doors after 165 years of “Service to the Fleet.” This virtual program with Navy Yard historian Andrew Gustafson will look at the rationale for the Yard’s closure, its sale to the City of New York and reopening as a private shipyard building crude oil supertankers, and the ups and downs of redevelopment over the past 50 years. Today the Brooklyn Navy Yard is a thriving city-owned industrial park that is home to over 500 companies at 12,000 jobs.
The day that news of the Titanic’s sinking reached New York, dignitaries assembled at 25 South Street on the tip of Lower Manhattan to lay the cornerstone. That building would stand tall among the icons of the Port of New York and vastly improved the lives of the seafarers who helped build this port city’s commerce. In this program, the Seamen’s Church Institute’s Senior Archivist and Queens College Assistant Professor Johnathan Thayer discusses SCI, its iconic building at 25 South Street, and its ongoing commitment to the unseen workforce on our oceans and inland waterways.
The Lehigh Valley No. 79 covered barge shuttled cargo around New York Harbor from 1914 until sometime around the mid-1970s. David Sharps rescued this wooden barge in 1985, digging it out the mud, floating it, and renovating into a museum, performance space, and the home where he and his wife raised their daughters. We take an inside look inside this remarkable vessel and the remarkable institution that is The Waterfront Museum.
The Whitehall skiff, a style of boat developed in New York 200 years ago, has been changing the lives of teens in the Bronx for the last 20 years at a program called Rocking the Boat. Founder and Executive Director Adam Green joins us to discuss the Whitehall and the impact of youth development based on teaching with small boats that combines engineering, craft, rowing and sailing, and marine ecology.