Sailing Through Time:

Comparing Mayflower II's Voyages in 1957 and 2020

Mayflower II - History Brought To Life

In 1620, a tiny merchant vessel, known as Mayflower, sailed across the Atlantic carrying 102 passengers desperately seeking religious freedom and new financial opportunities. They became known as the Pilgrims. More than 300 years later, in an effort to symbolize the friendship between Great Britain and the United States after World War II, Warwick Charlton championed the creation of Mayflower II, a modern reproduction of a 1620 English merchant vessel. Charlton worked with William A. Baker, an American naval architect, and Henry Hornblower II, President of Plimoth Patuxet (formerly Plimoth Plantation) to bring Mayflower II to life. Construction for the ship began in 1955 and was completed in 1957, when it took its iconic sail across the Atlantic ocean. Today, Mayflower II is an interactive exhibit at Plimoth Patuxet Museums and, in 2020, after a three year long, multi-million dollar restoration, it took to the sea once more. If you are interested in learning more about the restoration, click here.

This Exhibition

This exhibition focuses on three distinct categories related to Mayflower II: Navigation, Food & Dining and Commemoration. Each category contains featured objects used during the 1957 Mayflower II sail and compares them to the circumstances of the 2020 sail. These specific categories were chosen as they demonstrated both the stark differences and interesting similarities between Mayflower II's sails in 1957 and 2020. Within each category are links to various objects in the Mayflower II collection that provide greater description for that object, along with interviews from crew members of the 2020 sail and some mixed-media from both the past and present. To begin exploring, simply click on one of the images below!

Want to visit the Mayflower II collection or are interested in conducting research? Learn more about our Research Library!