Last year, we saw for the second time the remarkable miniature ships created by A. F. Crabtree of Portland, Oregon. The ships are on permanent display at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia. The room is darkened, with accent lighting directed on the models so that nothing distracts from the models. Flash photography is not allowed, so getting pictures was pretty difficult as I didn’t have a tripod.
The miniatures were absolutely fascinating to me and Sunday, when I was looking through a 1936 issue of Popular Science online, the model ship I came acroos looked very familiar and, sure enough, the builder was A. F. Crabtree.
It turns out that that model is at the Mariners’ Museum and I had taken a photo it 73 years after the article was published.
The article says:
A fully framed scale model of a nineteenth century British Indiaman by A. F. Crabtree of Portland, Ore., who was once a shipyard worker. Every piece is exctly as in the original. The deck planks, for example, are separate pieces. The blocks are only 1/8 in., but they have working sheaves. All parts actually work, including wheel and rudder.
Under the second picture:
This side of the hull is planked, but the other was left unplanked below the wales so the microscopically perfect interior details could be seen through the frames.
To give an idea of the scale Crabtree worked at, here’s the image on the lower part of the piece on his work:
I was actually looking through the magazine for vintage items related to RVs and camping. I was viewing it in Google Books, full view.
How cool is that? 😉
Update: All of my photos from that visit to the museum are in my gallery, The Mariners’ Museum, Newport News, May 10, 2009