Historic Ship Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum , Groton CT - Groton, Connecticut - World's Largest Museum on Undersea Warfare Found in Southern New England
The Historic Ship Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum, Groton CT, are found along the Thames River in the town of Groton. It initiated as what was called The Submarine Library of General Dynamics Electric Boat Division in the 1950s. In April of 1964 the corporation donated it to the US Navy.
This is the only place that the US operates a museum dedicated to undersea naval vehicles and their history, thus making it the principal destination for historical documentation in all of its forms and shapes regarding these undersea stealth machines. It is the largest such collection in the world.
Its collection tells the history that began with David Bushnell's Revolutionary War era Turtle, up to the modern day vehicles. The largest such museum in the world, its collections are comprised of over 33,000 artifacts, 30,000 photos and tens of thousands of relevant documents.
Activities for visitors to the Historic Ship Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum, Groton CT, include a tour of the first nuclear propelled submarine, the Nautilus, giving a feel for the living situation for the crew of this submarine and other submersibles under the open sea.
The Nautilus was built in over a span of close to 18 months time. On January 21, 1954, it was inaugurated for its first voyage by the First Lady of the United States. In September of that year it became the first nuclear powered ship commissioned into active duty.
In 1958 it was the first vessel to cross the North Pole, passing under the Arctic Circle.
In 1980, after 25 years, the vessel was retired and in 1986 it became part of the museum at Groton.
The latest submarines may be seen in these waters as well. Aboard the nautilus 3 functioning periscopes give a glimpse around on Connecticut's Thames.
The museum is located on the US Submarine Base territory and is easily accessed from I-95 by taking the Subase Exit, Exit 86. Signs direct vehicles along the 1.5 miles from the exit to the base and the museum.
Anyone doing significant research on submarines and US Naval history are obliged to take advantage of the research library at this museum.
The Historic Ship Nautilus and Submarine Force Museum, Groton CT, has a gift shop with a diversity of collectible items, memorabilia and informational materials.
Lectures, book signings and other events are held at the museum throughout the year as well.
From May 1 through October 31, the facilities are open daily, from 9Am to 5 PM, barring Tuesdays when they open from 1 PM on. At 4:45 the ship closes.
In the other months, hours are reduced to 9AM to 4PM, with the facilities closed to the public on Tuesdays. In these months the Nautilus also closes one hour earlier, at 3:45PM.
The facilities are closed on New Years, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days annually.
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