Founded in 1960, the Independence Seaport Museum, located on Philadelphia's historic waterfront, is dedicated to the collection and interpretation of maritime history with a particular focus on the Delaware River and other regional waterways. Diverse topics range from commercial shipping, shipbuilding, and navigation to immigration, defense, underwater exploration, and outdoor recreation.
The Museum also has a nationally renowned research library and a permanent collection of approximately 24,000 artifacts. A popular component of the collection is its vast array of model ships, of which a small sampling is represented in this exhibition. There are models that exemplify great detail and precision like the ship in a bottle, and in contrast, there is simply crafted toy boat. There are also several curiosities including model ships made of unusual materials such as chicken bone or sterling silver.
This eclectic selection illustrates the variety of models within the Museum's collection as well as the diverse expertise amongst the artisans who handcrafted these ships.