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1-Minute Artifact Video Series

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Museum staff describe their favorite artifacts from our collection—the catch is we give them only one minute!

Diagram of Battle between USS Constitution and HMS Java

This otherwise unremarkable telescope was used to observe the battle between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon off Boston Light on June 1, 1813. Jim Bennett, Visitor Experience Representative at the USS Constitution Museum, recounts the battle and Captain James Lawrence’s famous words “Don’t give up the ship!’ in this video.

View the diagram

View Waldo’s profile

Timber Merchant’s Guide

The Timber Merchant’s Guide, by Peter Guillet, contains 30 color lithographs drawn by Henry Stone that illustrate varieties of timber and their uses in shipbuilding in the early 19th century. In this video, USSCM Manager of Curatorial Affairs Kate Monea takes a closer look.

Telescope used to observe USS Chesapeake vs HMS Shannon

This otherwise unremarkable telescope was used to observe the battle between USS Chesapeake and HMS Shannon off Boston Light on June 1, 1813. Jim Bennett, Visitor Experience Representative at the USS Constitution Museum, recounts the battle and Captain James Lawrence’s famous words “Don’t give up the ship!’ in this video.

View the telescope

Isaac Hull Miniature

This miniature portrait of Isaac Hull, complete with a lock of hair, dates to around c.1810. The memento was not a gift for his future wife, Ann, so who was it for? USSCM Educator Susan Reed solves the mystery in this video.

Lt. Claire Bloom’s Uniform

Lieutenant Commander Claire V. Bloom served as USS Constitution‘s first female executive officer from 1996 to 1998. No women officers existed during the War of 1812, so Bloom’s 1812-style uniform is completely unique. Visitor Experience Representative Hilarie Samei tells us more.

Stool of Grapeshot

Take a behind-the-scenes look inside our vault with USS Constitution Museum Director of Exhibits Robert Kiihne to view a handmade artifact that’s rarely on view.

View the stool of grapeshot

“War Declared!!” Broadside

Between the lines of this “War Declared!!” broadside from June 22, 1812 is a story about the beginning of the War of 1812. Jim Bennett, Visitor Experience Representative at the USS Constitution Museum, tells us more.

View the “War Declared!!” broadside