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Ahoy, mate! Come along on a Titanic cruise to the Houston Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum

Founded by the late naval architect, James L. Manzolillo, the Houston Maritime Museum features over 150 ship models, over 100 types of navigational instruments, and numerous maritime artifacts.

Model of the Confederacy

A fine example of an admiralty model. Before ship designers used architectural plans these models were used to guide the building of the vessel.


Commentary by Abbie Grubb

Detail of the Confederacy model

A closer look at the Confederacy's deck shows off the intricate detail and astonishing craftsmanship of the piece.


Commentary by Abbie Grubb and Burton Reckles

Ancient olive oil jug

This amphora dates from between 1600 BC and 600 AD. Instead of the wire frame, there would have been a wooden beam with holes cut in it and the small projection at the bottom of the vessel would fit into the hole to keep it stationary on the high seas.


Commentary by Abbie Grubb

Model of the Laura on Buffalo Bayou

Built by Burton Reckles, this is a model of the Laura, the first ship to navigate Buffalo Bayou in 1837. The voyage from Galveston to the port of Houston took 3 days.


Commentary by Burton Reckles

Model of Lord Nelson's ship

The museum's largest model, the Victory stands at over five feet long and six feet tall.


Commentary by Burton Reckles

Ship's lantern

This masthead light was used on a clipper ship and dates from the late 1800s. Lights such as this were used as a sort of headlight for sailing vessels at that time.


Commentary by Abbie Grubb

Houston Pilot boat

A model of the Houston Pilot boat #1 as it looked in 1924. It was created by the museum's master modeler, Lorena Alvarez, using only a picture as a guide.


Commentary by Abbie Grubb

Gem enscapsulated minis

Created by local artist Burton Reckles, this Glass Encapsulated Miniature shows an 18th century American brig in a lightbulb.


Commentary by Abbie Grubb

Columbus's fleet in light bulbs

Another great example of a Glass Encapsulated Miniature by Burton Reckles. This one imagines a mutiny among Columbus's crew. Columbus in a row boat chases his fleet as it sails back to Spain.


Commentary by Burton Reckles

Model of the Bergamont

The model of the HMS Bergamot is a unique example of a more realistic depiction of a British naval vessel. Notice the rust and peeling paint.


Commentary by Abbie Grubb

WWII silhouette models

During World War Two, the U.S. military commissioned the construction of these models to train soldiers and sailors to identify Japanese ships on the horizon simple by the shape of their silhouettes.


Commentary by Abbie Grubb

Prison toothpick ship model

This model is made entirely of matchsticks and was constructed by an inmate housed in a Louisiana penitentiary.


Commentary by Abbie Grubb

Prison ship model with secret compartment

Another fine example of a prison model. The staff of the museum discovered a cloth-lined secret compartment with the inmates prison number etched in it.


Commentary by Burton Reckles


These deck chairs are from the now de-commissioned luxury liner Queen Mary.


Commentary by Abbie Grubb

Titanic model

A model of the doomed Titanic features amazing detail, right down to the tiny deck chairs.


Commentary by Abbie Grubb