Collection Spotlight

The Vasa

Vasa is a Swedish warship built over two years (1626-1628). On her maiden voyage out of Stockholm Harbor on August 10th, 1628, the ship foundered and sank after sailing about 1,300 meters. She sat in 30 meters of water for 333 years until she was located again in 1956. She was salvaged with a largely…

Collection Spotlight

HMS Bergamot

In the yearly years of WWII, the loss of ships crossing the Atlantic with supplies for the allies was staggering. German U-boats were responsible for most of this toll. The tide was turned with the development of the convoy system and the construction of a large number of corvettes of the “Flower” class (they were…

Collection Spotlight

The Laura

This year, the Port of Houston is celebrating one hundred years as a center for trade and industry. Before Houston was officially a leading world port, the area relied on a variety of small watercraft — a far cry from today’s tankers and Triple-E container ships — to navigate the waterways that lead to present-day…

Collection Spotlight

Flying Cloud

Prominently displayed in the Sailing Merchant Marine room at Houston Maritime is the model of the Flying Cloud, modeled by Ken Marshall. The Flying Cloud was an extreme clipper designed and built by Donald McKay at his shipyard in East Boston, MA, and launched in April 1851. The vessel’s commissioner intended the Flying Cloud to…

Collection Spotlight

HMS Victory

On my first visit to the Houston Maritime Museum over a year ago, I was delighted by the beautiful ship models on display, especially the models of wooden sailing ships, with their artful lines and fine workmanship. One model stood out as it was the largest of its type on display. The model is the…

Collection Spotlight

U-596

The submarine U-596 was one of over 1100 U-boats (for “Unterseeboot” = “under-sea boat”) built by Germany both before and during World War II. The TypeVII was the most numerous of all U-boats built by German, with over 700 being built. The U-596 was constructed at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and…

Collection Spotlight

Truss Spar

This past month, Technip generously donated a new model, which is now on display in our Offshore Energy exhibit. Spars are floating oil platforms that consist of a vertical steel structure, measuring up to 900 feet from the top of the drilling mast to the submerged ballast tank. Pipelines from multiple oil wells feed into…

Collection Spotlight

Carl Zeiss Jena Binoculars

This pair of binoculars was donated to Houston Maritime by our Wednesday docent, Laurence Shallenberger. His father, George G. Shallenberger, purchased these Carl Zeiss Jena binoculars while on vacation in Glacier National park, Montana, 1936. Founded in 1846, German optics manufacturer Carl Zeiss Jena’s lenses are considered some of the best in the world leading…

Meet the Team

Whit Drake

Whit Drake combines incredible knowledge of the maritime world with humorous anecdotes of the ships, people, and places related to the stories in our museum. His fun and engaging tours are the highlight of our Tuesdays! What is your maritime background? None! I’m the first docent without a maritime background; my hobby is history, especially…