On the Water

On the Water

Stories from Maritime America

On View 1 East General Motors Hall of Transportation

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 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 reveals America’s maritime connections through objects, documents, audiovisual programs, and interactives.

Exhibition Website

Can’t visit the museum? Want to learn more about our maritime collections? The companion website offers the same historical content as the physical exhibition, plus a variety of educational resources. (Coming soon.)

This exhibition is made possible by the A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation, in addition to many other generous donors.