Maritime Museum exhibit celebrates shipping history
The long and storied history of the steam shipping industry is being celebrated at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic with the launch of its Cunard 175: Engine for Change exhibit this Friday.
The exhibit marks 175 years since the arrival of the first Cunard flagship, the Britannia, from Liverpool, England. The focus is on Samuel Cunard and the shipping legacy he brought to Nova Scotia, particularly Halifax during the 1800s.
Roger Marsters, the museum’s curator of marine history, said Tuesday the exhibit features a mix of historical and interactive components that show how Cunard made Halifax a centre for steam shipping.
“(Cunard) had a great talent for bringing people together for a common purpose,” Marsters said.
Visitors can touch and smell trade goods of that time, try out speaking tubes that were used on steam boats, and see models of the time’s technology.
“We’re trying to engage as broad an audience as possible,” Marsters said.
One of the most exciting features of the exhibit is a model of a side-level steam engine that can be pumped manually, he added.
The exhibit opens Friday with a free reception at 4:30 p.m.
The Cunard ship Queen Mary 2 is making a special sail at about 7:30 p.m. from Pier 21, up to where the old Cunard Wharves were located, and back out of Halifax Harbour. There will be a large, formal send off and the Stadacona band will salute the vessel.
The Queen Mary 2 left Liverpool on Monday and will arrive in Halifax this week, replicating the voyage the Britannia made 175 years ago.
“You get an evocative sense of what it was like to be on the Halifax waterfront in the early part of the 19th century,” Marsters said.
The Cunard 175 exhibit is on until the end of November.