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Spots, Sights and Sounds

Maritime history, artifacts pack US Naval Academy Museum

Maritime history, artifacts pack US Naval Academy Museum

by Christian Michael

March 02, 2019

While touring the U.S. Naval Academy with my friend, Bren, and his family, we toured a well curated and comprehensive of American naval history. 

The exhibits covered the range of American naval operations across nearly all American conflicts, ranging from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, the world wars up to today. Personally, I loved the homage to Air Force founding father Jimmy Doolittle whose infamous bombing raid on Tokyo from an aircraft carrier was probably the only decent thing to watch in the movie Pearl Harbor and one of the most badass aerial operations during World War II. 

Countless naval artifacts and uniforms fill glass cases and give the average history buff buffets of information to digest. Even this particularly interesting statue below.


After the main concourse, we went upstairs to a ship-model building exhibit of outstanding quality. Model shipbuilding in antiquity was anything but hobby, but an essential part of full ship design and building. Unlike today's comprehensive three-dimensional modeling and stress testing, model building allowed ship's designers to actually lay hands on the ships in miniature. As is so often the case, having something you can hold in your hands brings it to life in ways paper and ink never will.

However, the exhibit also includes a number of ships built as mere hobby, some of which include infamous "bone" ships, which were models assembled by prisoners whose only tools were bones of other deceased prisoners in renaissance-era prisons of the day. The prisoner-made ships are amazing and show the magnificence capable by men with too much time on their hands.

This numbers among the better museums I've visited in my years and recommend it to anyone who is both in the National Capitol Region and able to gain access to the U.S. Naval Academy, which is a military facility and is guarded as-such.

If you'd like to read about my experience on the academy proper, read it here: US Naval Academy filled with history, honor, beautiful architecture.



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