984 North Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60642-4101 (773) 384-3352 || Opening hours: Friday-Tuesday: 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesday: 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Thursday: CLOSED

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Maritime Collection

The artifacts presented in the Maritime Room mostly come from the Polish Pavilion of the 1939 New York World’s Fair, and specifically from the room, “Poland on the Sea.” There are 1:100 scale models of the Merchant Navy of inter-war period sailing under the Polish flag, belonging to various shipping lines: Gdynia-America Sailing Lines LTD (GAL), Polish Sailings, Polbryt, and Polskarob.

The legendary history of the twin, large transatlantic liners built on the order of GAL, M/S “Piłsudski” and M/S “Batory”, uncommonly colorful and stormy, full of comic and tragic moments, has been presented many times in popular Polish literature, as well as educational reading, but mostly in memoirs, of which the most popular were the tales of Captain Karol Olgierd Borchardt, gathered in two books, Znaczy kapitain (It Means Captain) and Szaman morski (Shaman of the Sea).

Smaller ships, among them those belonging to Polish Sailings and the Polish-British joint venture shipping lines, Polbryt, are also shown as models: M/S “Lewant”, S/S “Lech”, S/S “Lublin”, S/S “Lida”, as well as the three-masted sailing ship, “Dar Pomorza” (Gift of Pomerania), which, because of its white sails, was poetically called “The White Frigate.”