Browse Exhibits (12 total)

A Conservator's Legacy: Gene MacMullan at the McGuire Library


An examples of book and paper conservation projects carried out by Eugene C. MacMullan between 2012 and 2019 for the Frank L. McGuire Maritime Library of the New London Maritime Society.

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Rob Pittaway's Half-Hulls: The Modeling Process Described


Illustrated steps for making half-hull models by Robert A. Pittaway.  Edited by Brian Rogers, Online Exhibits Curator

Remembering Ellery Thompson: Fisherman, Writer, Artist, Free Spirit

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An exhibition of the life and times of Ellery Franklin Thompson (1899-1986), whose writings, published and unpublished, provide first-hand glimpses into the 20th century maritime history of southeastern Connecticut.

Brian Rogers, Online Exhibitions Curator April, 2020

Down to the Shore: By Steamboat from Norwich to Block Island and Back

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A memoir by Gerard E. Jensen (1884-1970) of his boyhood trips at the turn of the 19th century aboard scheduled steamboats connecting Norwich, Connecticut, and Block Island, Rhode Island, with stops at Montville, New London, Stonington, and Watch Hill. Originally published in the Fall, 1967, issue of Steamboat Bill, the Journal of the Steamship Historical Society of America.  Reprinted with permission.

Illustrated with images from the original article and vintage postcards from the collection of the Frank L. McGuire Maritime Library. Edited by Brian Rogers, Librarian (2009-2019)

S. S. Tasco: New London's Plucky Salvage Ship


The screw steamship Tasco was built in New London in 1907. In 1908 it was registered to the T.A. Scott Company (hence its name: TASCO), as a rescue and salvage vessel, based in New London.  From 1908 to 1914 the Tasco took part in the rescue or salvage of nearly 150 wrecked ships along the east coast of the United States from as far north as Maine and south to Key West.

In 1914, it was sold to Mr. J. Shewan of Brooklyn, New York.  In 1917, it was purchased from Mr. Shewan by the U.S. Navy and commissioned as the USS Tasco, SP502, a minesweeper and patrol vessel.  It was decommissioned in 1919 and returned to Mr. Shewan.  There are no further records of the Tasco after 1919.

The Tasco Collection in the Frank L. McGuire Maritime Library contains a variety of documents and photos related to the service of the Tasco.  The collection was donated to the Custom House Maritime Museum in 2001 by Mr. David A. Allen of Groton, Connecticut. The collection includes about 190 photographs and postcards, the log book of the Tasco from December 15, 1908 to March 2, 1914, an edited version of the the log, and photocopies of newspaper clippings and other documents relating to the activities of the Tasco.

The records of the T. A. Scott Company, from 1889 to 1927, including many documents relevant to the Tasco, are held at the G.W. Blunt Library at Mystic Seaport.

To see all of the scanned images from the Tasco photograph album, click on S.S. Tasco Photographs.

--Laurie M. Deredita, Librarian

New London and the First Steam-Powered Atlantic Crossing

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A documentary about New London's unique relationship with the SS Savannah and her pioneering transatlantic voyage in 1819 under Captain Moses Rogers and First Mate Stevens Rogers.

We gratefully acknowledge the support and advice of John Laurence Busch in the preparation of this documentary.

                        ---Brian Rogers, Online Exhibits Curator

Old Ironsides - New London

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Photographs, documents, and other resources which tell the story of the New London Custom House's connection to America's oldest commissioned warship, USS Constitution.

U.S. Maritime Service Officers School at Fort Trumbull


A documentary history of the U.S. Maritime Service Officers School at Fort Trumbull, New London, Connecticut. (1939 - 1946)

William Douglass Alexander, Marine Engineer


Photographs and documents illustrating the career of William Douglass Alexander (1890-1949), Thames River ferry and tugboat fireman and engineer, U.S. Naval Reserve engineer, and civilian employee at the U.S. Submarine Base in his hometown of Groton, Connecticut.

Historic Postcard Views


The Frank L. McGuire Maritime Library's postcard collection features maritime images of New London and Groton in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Neighboring shoreline towns are covered as well, such as Stonington and Noank, Connecticut, and towns between New London and the Connecticut River. The cards date primarily from the 1890s to the 1950s, while more recent examples document the shift from "colorized" lithography to full-color photography.  

Duplicates or near-duplicates are included with many of these to show postmarks, personal messages, or variations in design.

Principal subjects include the Thames River and New London Harbor, steamboats and other large vessels, the Yale-Harvard Regatta, New London Harbor Light and other area lighthouses, New York Yacht Club visits, Ocean Beach Park, and historic buildings on or near the waterfront, from Union Railroad Station and the U.S. Custom House to Fort Trumbull and the Lighthouse Inn.  Groton waterfront scenes include the late Griswold Hotel, Fort Griswold and the monument to the Battle of Groton Heights, the Groton-New London Ferry, and the rail and road bridges linking New London and Groton.

The work of library volunteer Gretchen van der Lyke in scanning large segments of the postcard collection for this exhibit is gratefully acknowledged.

The McGuire Library also holds a large collection of modern postcards of American and foreign lighthouses and lightships, the gift of maritime historian Norman Brouwer.  These may be viewed in the library, together with our collection of more than three hundred books about lighthouses and lightships.