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On the Water: Stories from Maritime America

On the Water

Marine transportation and waterborne commerce underlie American history like a strong and steady ocean current. Maritime trade established major cities, created connections between people and places and opened the continent. Visitors to this new permanent exhibition will explore life and work on the nation’s waterways, discovering the stories of whaling crews, fishermen, shipbuilders, merchant mariners, passengers, and many others. From 18th-century sailing ships, 19th-century steamboats and fishing craft to today's mega containerships, the exhibition will reveal America’s maritime connections through objects, documents, audiovisual programs, and interactives. Visitors will discover the continuous and significant role maritime activity has played in American lives.

"On the Water" is an 8,000-square-foot companion exhibition to America on the Move and replaces the Museum's Hall of American Maritime Enterprise.  

Online Exhibition

Can’t visit the Museum’s newest exhibition on maritime history? Want to learn more about our maritime collections? The companion Web site contains the same historical content as the physical exhibition, plus a searchable database that provides additional information and photographs for selected artifacts in the exhibition. Multimedia resources and educational activities, including an associated Flickr group where visitors can upload their own maritime-related imagery, round out the experience.  Visit Web site

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