A HISTORY OF THE NAVY IN 100 OBJECTS - USNA

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A HISTORY OF THE NAVY IN 100 OBJECTS

Artifacts like those found in the U.S. Naval Academy Museum are tangible links to our past - holding and studying them evokes emotions and makes connections in our memories. The U.S. Navy has a long and storied history - only beginning to understand it would take a lifetime of study. By bringing notable objects and places to life, this podcast series highlights key moments and themes in the Navy's complex history. Citizens and sailors alike can use this series to connect with their past, understand their present, and prepare for their future. The U.S. Naval Academy Museum, the Nimitz Library Special Collections and Archives Department and their partners proudly present "A History of the Navy in 100 Objects," a weekly podcast and video series exploring the navy's storied history using objects.

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Object #1: The Crypt of John Paul Jones
Video 1 in the series "A History of the Navy in 100 Objects" presented by the United States Naval Academy. Often when telling a story, its best to start at the beginning. In our case, although the United States Navy didn't begin with John Paul Jones, he is nevertheless considered the Father of the American Navy. Born in England, he cut his teeth as a sailor in merchant fleets, before coming to the United States. When war broke out, he joined the fight on the side of the upstart colonies, and won fame for his daring raid on English soil and his victories over British ships. After the war, he accepted a position as an admiral in the Russian navy. After a short time, he returned to Paris in poor health, and died shortly after in 1792. In the tumultuous days of the French Revolution, Jones' grave was lost and it wasn't until 1905 that it was rediscovered. After discovery, and with great ceremony, his remains were transported across the Atlantic. After several years were finally interred in the crypt underneath the iconic Naval Academy Chapel, where they remain today. This is the story of Jones in life, and in death.

Object #2: Political Cartoon from the Beverly R. Robinson Collection of Prints

Object #3 - Bone Ship Model
One of the most well-know exhibits of the Naval Academy Museum is the collection of roughly two dozen model ships constructed almost entirely of bone by French prisoners of war during the Napoleonic Wars. Although not specifically US Navy history, the collection nevertheless helps set the stage for understanding the conditions into which the American Navy was born. The War of 1812 loomed on the horizon, and in that war the U.S. Navy would be put to the test.

Object #4: Wooden Model of HMS Minerva
This is a model of HMS Minerva, one of the last new warships produced by the British navy during the 18th century. As the dominant maritime power for centuries, the influences of the British navy were significant in the U.S. Navy's development. From force structure and operational style, to ranks, to ship and cannon technology, the American navy relied heavily on the influences of its precursor, and many of those influences are still seen today. The Minerva was innovative in many ways, but today Naval Academy Museum education specialist Grant Walker takes us through two of the biggest.

Object #5 - Ironclads
One of the most famous naval battles in history occurred between the U.S.S. Monitor and the C.S.S. Virginia. Although the battle itself it ended in a draw, the introduction and successful use of ironclads nevertheless was a pivotal moment in naval history, and made wooden ships irrelevant. Dr. Scott Harmon, former Director of the USNA Museum discusses two historic pieces of iron that came from the battle's participants.

Object #6: Wooden Model of the USS Constitution
The oldest commissioned vessel of the United States Navy, the U.S.S. Constitution, has a storied history that stretches back over two hundred years. "Old Ironsides" has an iconic place in American naval lore. This wooden model accurately represents her accurately represents her construction, AND unlike many of our objects we can still see the original ship in person. The real Constitution looks nearly the same as she did two hundred years ago, and can be visited in Boston where she remains on permanent display.

Object #7: Woman's Naval Officer Uniform

Object #8: Sea Anchor from the USS Constitution
As we continue through our naval history journey, keep in mind that for much of recorded history, one of the only other non-manpowered methods of propulsion on the high seas was wind. Raises the obvious question of what do when the wind dies. Today we discuss a piece of equipment called a "sea anchor" and how the most famous ship in the U.S. Navy worked to solve the problem of no wind during the War of 1812

Object #9: Sextant from the Battle of Lake Erie, 1813

Object #10: Innovative Model of Turreted Gunboat, Designed by Commodore Edward Preble
One of the impetuses behind this series was a desire to understand transition and innovation in the Navy. This model gunboat helps highlight just how the navy learned and grew in its early years. This episode also helps show why the War of 1812 is so important for naval leaders today. Current Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert briefly tells us just why he studies the War of 1812, and then Dr. Harmon explains how this gunboat would have worked had it been built, and elaborates on the circumstances under which it was designed.

Object #11: Dont Give Up The Ship Flag

Object #12: Dented Cannon Captured From the HMS Confiance

Object #13: Midshipman's dirk belonging to Stephen Decatur

Object #14: Naval School Regulations and Midshipman Training Journal

Object #15: The Herndon Monument

to be continued ......
 

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Object #16: Naval Academy Class Rings

Object #17: Mameluke Sword from the Assault on Derna, Tripoli, 1805

Object #18: The Tripoli Monument

Object #19: Souvenirs Brought Home From Around the World by the Early Navy Squadrons

Object #20: Cyane Journal

Object #21 Model of Demologos (USS Fulton)
The Navy has always been a model of innovation, but this has not always been easy. Faced with a problem of a power source (wind) that was inconsistent, naval leaders and scientists set out to see if they could solve this problem. They did, and the first Naval steamship was produced. Today, the Navy is faced with another problem: how to operate independently without dependence on external sources of fuel. Today's object helps tie these two issues together.

Object #22: Battle of the Models: Constitution and Guerriere Square Off
The 4th of July is one of the most loved and inspiring days of the year in the United States. However, in the early stages of the War of 1812, patriotism proved difficult, and inspiration was in scarce supply. USS Constitution's victory over HMS Guerriere helped coalesce and inspire the American citizens to fight against the British.

Object #23: Engine Order Bell and Telegraph from USS Kearsarge

Object #24: Wooden Letter Opener

Object #25: Pay Stubs Belonging to David Bushnell, Inventor of the Submarine

Object #26: Epaulettes Belonging to John Dahlgren, Father of American Naval Ordinance

Object #27: Punishment Log From USS Columbus

Object #28: Medal of Honor from the Corean Incident of 1871

Object #29: The Jeannette Expedition Monument

Object #30: Letterbook belonging to LCDR Montgomery Sicard, Commander of USS Saginaw

to be continued ......
 

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Object #31: Barnacle Encrusted Light bulb from the USS Maine

Object #32: Commemorative plate and other objects belong to George Dewey, Admiral of the Navy

Object #33: Table and Chairs Given to the Great White Fleet by the Dowager Empress of China

Object #34: Scrapbook From the Round-the-World Voyage of the Great White Fleet

Object #35: Rotating Mirror from Albert Michelson's Light Experiments

Object #36: Mine Buoy From the WWI North Sea Mine Barrage

Object #38: Replica of Wright Brothers Model B Airplane

Object #40: Bronze Bust of Richard Byrd

Object #41: Fabric and metal from NC-4, First Airplane to Cross the Atlantic

Object #42: Cassin Young Medal of Honor

Object #43: The Momsen Lung

Object #44: Signed Author's Copy of Charles Lindbergh's "We"

Object #45: Containers from Robert Peary Polar Expedition
 

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Object #46: WWII Japanese Radio Headset

Object #47: British Dockyard Models
Over the coming decade, the US Navy's new Littoral Combat Ships will be fully operational, and as we examine their designs and technological innovation, today's episode takes us back in time to visit the newest ships of the 1750s and 1890s, some of them littoral in nature. We also head into the restoration and modeling shop of the Naval Academy museum for an up-close look at the efforts to preserve and expand the Naval Academy's precious collection of model ships, and thus document our naval heritage.

Object #48: Models of HMS St. George (1701) and USS Missouri (1944)
Many factors combined to end the 300 year reign of the battleship, and most of them occurred during and just after World War I, from the development of aviation, to the Washington Naval Conference, and eventually the destruction of much of the US surface fleet at Pearl Harbor in 1941. Today we take a closer look at how the aircraft carrier replaced the battleship as the pre-eminent ship in the US Navy.

Object #49: Japanese Bomb Arming Vane

Object #52: German War Diary from U505

Object #53: Handmade Seabee Photo Album From Guadalcanal

Object #54: Shell Fragment from the USS Massachusetts (BB-59)

Object 55: Worden Sword

Episode 56: Worden Field

Episode 57: The Mexican-American War Monument

Episode 58: USS PANAY

Episode 59: Captured British Flags
In the 59th episode of "A History of the Navy in 100 Objects from the Naval Academy Museum" we see captured British ensigns from the War of 1812.

to be continued .....
 

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Object 60 Bonhomme Richard Double Sided Model
Episode 60 of The History of the Navy in 100 Objects from the Naval Academy Museum is about the Revolutionary War era ship Bonhomme Richard, commanded by John Paul Jones whose crypt is beneath the Naval Academy Chapel

Object 61 Japanese Zero Identification Plate

Object 62 The South Pole Book, from USS President Lincoln

Object 63 Seal and Wax Impression

Object 64 John Paul Jones Presentation Sword

Object 65 Saturn V Rocket Model

Object 66 Preble Gun Boat

Object 67 USS Franklin Decking Wood

Object 68 Vietnam POW Memorabilia from CAPT McGrath

Object 69 Robert Reem's Medal of Honor

Object 70 Zimmerman Medals

Object 71 Charles Wilkes' Bicorn

Object 72 ADM Crowe's Medals

Object 73 Virginia Deckplate & Monitor Hull Plating

Object 74 WWII Surrender Table

Object 75 Iwo Jima Monument Design Model
 

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Object 76 RADM Farquhar Letterbook

Object 77 Shouldermarks from Philo McGiffin's era

Object 78 Sword from the Somers Mutiny

Object 79 Commodore Preble's Desk

Object 80 Admiral Lawrence's POW Bracelet

Object 81 General MacArthur Statue, Gifted by Admiral Burke

Object 82 Jack Ryan's Couch

Object 83 Missile from Attack on USS Stark

Object 84 USS Forrestal Model

Object 85 Reflections from Senator McCain

Object 86 Death Mask of Charles Stewart

Object 87 Michael Hodge's Navigation Book

Object 88 FDR's Pen, Used for Lend Lease Act

Object 89 Perry's Flag, Present at Japanese 1853 Opening & WWII Surrender

Object 90 Rowing Olympic Gold Medal
 

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Object 91 ADM Farragut's Hand Drawn Battle Plans for Mobile Bay

Object 92 Sigsbee Telegram, from the Sinking of USS Maine

Object 93 Yamato & Missouri Battleship Models

Object 94 USS Langley Model

Object 95 Lindbergh's Marked Flight Map

Object 96 Portrait of James H Ward

Object 97 John Hancock Letters

Object 98 Nautilus Submarine Plans

Object 99 Charles Stephenson's Papers, from Marine Detachment in Tianjin, China

Object 100 Leadership Reflections
 

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and also interesting to see

Ships of 1812
Grant Walker of the Naval Academy Museum explains the history and architecture of ships using the museum's original British dockyard model collection. This lecture was part of the museum's "War of 1812 & the Chesapeake: A School House at Sea."

 
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