Behind-the-Scenes with Project Liberty Ship

Baltimore Museum of Industry and Project Liberty Ship Team Up to Share Story of Shipbuilding in Baltimore


The Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI) will present a free online program in partnership with Project Liberty Ship on Thursday, Jun 24 at 7pm that uses material from the BMI’s collections and archives to tell the story of how Baltimore became a shipbuilding power that produced one of Baltimore’s most historically significant artifacts, the S.S. John W. Brown.

This program is part of the BMI’s Bethlehem Steel Legacy Project, a multiyear initiative to document and preserve the stories of the local steelmaking giant and the surrounding community. At its height, its Sparrows Point mill was the largest steel producer in the world, making steel for bridges, buildings, and railroads. What many people do not know is that Bethlehem Steel also built ships.

This is a preview of the BMI’s Members-only behind-the-scenes tours and programs. If you enjoy behind-the-scenes programs like this one, consider becoming a BMI member.

This program took place on Thursday, June 24, 2021 @ 7 pm. A recording of the program is now available on the BMI’s Youtube channel. You can watch it here

About the Program and Partners

About the John W. Brown

A total of 384 Liberty Ships were built at Bethlehem’s Baltimore-Fairfield yard during WWII. After her service in WW II and a long stint as a New York City public maritime trade school, she returned to Baltimore in 1988 and was restored to operating condition by Project Liberty Ship volunteers.

The S.S. John W. Brown continues to be of service in the city where she was launched. Today, she educates people about how American industry fueled victory in WWII, about the merchant mariners and naval personnel who sailed Liberty ships, and about the 35,000 men and women shipbuilders at Bethlehem Steel that made the logistical miracle of the war possible.

About the presenters

The Shipyards of Bethlehem Steel in Baltimore: BMI Volunteer Ken Jones provides a brief history of Bethlehem Steel’s Baltimore shipyards.

A Peek at the Plans: BMI volunteer Bob Pratt shares highlights from the BMI’s collection of 35,000 ship plans.

All Hands on Deck: Volunteers from the John W. Brown share the history of the Brown’s service and give viewers a glimpse of what they can see this summer, when they are able to visit the WWII vessel in person.

The Baltimore Museum of Industry celebrates the dignity of work, and can provide a forum for exploring such issues as workers’ rights and workplace equity, providing historical context for contemporary issues that impact our community.

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