online exhibits

The Maritime
Virtual Art Museum

SEE THE SPECIAL Exhibits on display now in the SSHSA Maritime Virtual Art Museum.   MORE >



The authoritative magazine of the history of engine-powered vessels and the legacy of man's journey on the world's seas and waterways.

In this issue:

  • Italian Motor Ships Saturnia & Vulcania
  • A Can Of Peas; SS Avalon
  • Night of the Subic Bay Pirates
  • How to Write an Article for PowerShips
  • STEAMing Into the Future




Funding for the SSHSA educational outreach program is made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities (an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities), the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program, and the Heritage Harbor Foundation.

Welcome to the World's Leading Organization dedicated to recording, preserving and disseminating the history of engine-powered vessels. Discover ship history through PowerShips magazine, the Image Porthole, and more! LEARN MORE About sshsa membership >

A loss for maritime history

On Friday, July 6, the SS Ste Claire, was destroyed by fire in Michigan. She was the younger of two ferries that made daily roundtrips from Detroit to Canada’s Bob-Lo Island Amusement Park for more than 90 years. Her former running mate, the SS Columbia, is currently being rehabilitated in New York and was named our 2017 Ship of the Year.

It’s a sad day for America’s maritime heritage when we lose any historic vessel, but this is particularly painful as she was distinguished as a National Historic Landmark. We all need to do more and try harder to protect, preserve and share the history of our remaining maritime heritage - if not for us, then at least for the benefit of the generations to come.

Third Annual Ocean Liner Dinner

Our event was a great success!  Many thanks to our attendees, sponsors and donors.

Thought by many to be among the greatest of ocean liners, the Normandie was known for making passengers feel as though they were in the lap of luxury.

Launched in 1932 with 200,000 onlookers, the Normandie’s special hull design helped her reach fast speeds with a fraction of the power of traditional liners. She held the Blue Riband for the fastest transatlantic crossing at several points during her service career, during which RMS Queen Mary was her main rival. She is also said to be the most powerful steam turbo-electric-propelled passenger ship ever built. Technical aspects aside, her interior design was the stuff of legends. Sculptures, paintings, drawings and photographs decorated the public spaces along with grand perspectives, spectacular entryways, and long, wide staircases.

Our Ocean Liner Dinner is gaining steam each year, with three fabulous evenings behind us already. Our inaugural RMS Queen Mary dining experience in 2016 was a splendid affair, setting the stage for this to become SSHSA's annual fundraising auction, dinner and festive gala. And those who attended last year's fun and excitement are still talking about the seven-course meal developed straight from White Star Lines' 1912 menu.

Don't miss out next year. Keep an eye on this page and be the first to know when the 2019 date and theme are announced!

Leave a Lasting Legacy

Looking for a way to leave your mark on the world and support SSHSA? Board member Odd Brevik and longtime member Ed Spinney are spearheading a memorial brick program that will accomplish both.

SSHSA is establishing a memorial at the Ship History Center in Rhode Island to recognize the people, places and iconic vessels that have supported our organization throughout the last eight decades. Join us now and help make sure this impressive archive is around for generations to come.

Purchasing an inscribed brick is a timeless way to honor a ship, friend, family member or crewmate, past or present. Standard 4-by-8 inch bricks are $95, and a large 8-by-8 inch brick is $175, with logos $30 extra. Dozens of symbols are available, including all branches of the U.S. military anchors, atoms, boats (square rigger and yacht), fleur-de-lis, lighthouse, maple leaf, merchant marine, oars, ribbons (cancer awareness), SSHSA burgee and more.

By purchasing a brick, you are establishing your legacy at SSHSA and supporting the future of the organization. Proceeds will help sustain operations and grow membership. Click here to purchase a brick online or click here to download an application today!

(Photos: Odd Brevik (above) and Ed Spinney show off the first two bricks sold under the new memorial brick program.)

SSHSA in the News

Word about the public opening is making its way across television, radio and the web. See what the press has been saying about our Ship History Center!

Providence Business News - 5/12/17

Warwick Post 5/9/17

Cumulus Community with Bill Haberman (630WPRO)

CNN - 7 fabulous steamboats around the United States

Dan Yorke State of Mind

Steve Klamkin and the WPRO Saturday Morning News

Providence Journal

My Backyard News





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