BATH – Maine Maritime Museum has added a new acquisition to the museum collection: The original half-model, or builder’s model, of the six-masted schooner Wyoming of 1909.

The model was originally gifted to the Patten Free Library by Samuel R. Percy, of the Percy & Small shipyard, in January 1930. More than 80 years later in late 2017, the library donated the artifact to the museum in honor of Nathan R. Lipfert, Museum Curator Emeritus, in 2017. It is now on display in the Johnny and Lorraine Ring Wyoming Gallery at the museum, along with a full model of the Wyoming and several original pieces from the schooner.

When designing a new wooden vessel, half-models are created to be the “master” from which the boat plans are drawn up. They were effective tools in a shipyard’s arsenal for the design and boat building process, as well as for marketing and communication outside of the yard. Thelibrary agreed to donate this very important part of the Wyoming’s history in exchange for a replica of the half-model originally carved by Woolwich model-maker Terrance Geaghan in the 1990s.

“This is truly a significant object with impeccable provenance and of much significance to world shipbuilding history – and Maine Maritime Museum is honored to add it permanently to the collections in honor of Nathan Lipfert who did so much to advance our understanding of Maine’s maritime history,” said Senior Curator Anne Witty.

Maine Maritime Museum Executive Director Amy Lent, Patten Free Library Director Lesley Dolinger, and their boards of trustees negotiated the momentous exchange in the true spirit of community collaboration. Thanks were also offered to Robin A. S. Haynes, manager of the Sagadahoc History & Genealogy Room, for her assistance in the collaboration.