• Salem Maritime National Historic Site

    Salem Maritime

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

Collection Spotlight

the tools of a 19th century Customs Inspector included pens, inkwells, rulers, and paper forms

The tools of a 19th century Customs Inspector included pens, inkwells, rulers, ledgers, and forms

NPS photo

Not all of Salem Maritime's important artifacts are as tall as Friendship or as heavy as the brick Custom House. For a historian, sometimes fascinating stories can be found in small items as well.

In our collection spotlight, we will focus on some of the smaller treasures in our collection. Some, like clothing, can't be displayed because they are too fragile, and some become more interesting the closer you look at them!

Follow the links below to discover more about Salem Maritime's collection.

an ebony, ivory, and brass quadrant.

NPS Photo

An eighteenth century captain would never set sail without one of these on board, and at least one person on the crew who knew how to use it. What is it? Find out here!

NPS Collections

What are these guys doing? It's an important part of Salem's 18th century trade! Click here to find out more.
detail of a vest

NPS Collection

This was an important part of a gentleman's wardrobe in the 18th and 19th centuries. What is it? Click here to find out!

Did You Know?

An artist's depiction of an American privateer pursuing a British merchant ship.  Painting by Thomas Freeman.

During the American Revolution, Salem was the most successful privateering port in America. Salem's 158 privateering vessels captured 445 English vessels.