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Posted on December 2, 2019 at 3:02 PM by Sharon Hoggard
walking through the Children’s Museum this year will see our Winter Wonderland
display, full of bright lights, electronic elves, and decorated trees that
remind so many of us of the delights of Coleman’s Nursery, or at least of the
pleasantries of our own Christmases past.
Here at the
Naval Shipyard Museum, we’ve been shuttered for the past few holiday seasons.
But this year, we have our own representation of the delights of Christmas. Our
temporary photograph display offers a small collection of vintage images of
Christmas decorations installed instead against the industrial backdrop of
Norfolk Naval Shipyard. These 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s photographs offer the
contrast of seasonal celebrations with the workaday setting of a military
exterior decorations, interior
displays, set up specifically for special holiday events, like family open
houses and staff parties (often including toy train displays and miniature
villages), and group
photos of office gatherings, with punch bowls and Christmas trees amid the
Bakelite telephones, industrial safety posters, and file separators. But the
images that give me the most pause are the wartime photos.
Pictured below: Gate 10 decorated for Christmas, no date (Courtesy NNSY Archives)
are all about traditions. So start a new tradition, and come down to the PNSM
to look into the faces of the shipyard’s Christmases past.
temporary display, along with a case of vintage holiday editions of the
shipyard’s newspaper, Service to the Fleet, and several examples of
shipyard Christmas cards (illustrated with original artwork), will be in the
PNSM gallery from November 29 through December 31. Throughout the Christmas
season, the museum will continue to be open Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00am –
5:00pm; Sunday, 1:00 – 5:00pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as
Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day). Remember that all city
employees may enter the museum for free!
My thanks to
the NNSY Archives, Shipyard Historian & Archivist Marcus W. Robbins, and
the NNSY Public Affairs Office for sharing these images and information with
us. Thanks also to Tim, Andre, and the Museums Department’s Exhibits team for
their assistance with graphics and production.
May you find
cheer and comfort in your own holiday traditions this year.
Post Submitted by: Diane L. Cripps
Curator of History for the Portsmouth Museums