The Peabody Museum of Salem, Massachusetts
One of the three principal objectives of the Salem East India Maritime Society, organized in 1799, was to “form a museum of natural and artificial curiosities”. These curiosities were brought back by Society members from their voyages beyond Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope. The Peabody Museum of Salem evolved from this objective. George Peabody, a self-made financier and America’s first philanthropist, rescued the Society’s building and collections in1867. Later in 1915 the Museum was reorganized into three departments of Ethnology, Natural History and Maritime History. Over half of the Museum’s exhibits are devoted to maritime history, including ships’ models, paintings, prints, photographs, tools, nautical instruments, sailor’s arts and crafts etc.