Book Talks at the Seaport Museum


STEAM TITANS: Cunard, Collins, and the Epic Battle for Commerce on the North Atlantic.
Book Talk

Wednesday September 6 | 6:30 pm | $10 (free for members) | Purchase Tickets

Join the Seaport Museum as William M. Folwer, Jr. discusses his book STEAM TITANS: Cunard, Collins, and the Epic Battle for Commerce on the North Atlantic. In STEAM TITANS Fowler tells the story of a transatlantic fight to wrest control of the globe’s most lucrative trade route. Two men—Samuel Cunard for England and Edward Knight Collins for the United States—employed every weapon available to them to compete for control of a commercial lifeline that spanned the North Atlantic. The world watched carefully to see which would win. Using technology, money, secret deals, bribery, and government influence to send the fastest, biggest, and most elegant ships in the world to sea, Cunard and Collins hoped to earn the distinction of being known as “the only way to cross.”

“Steam Titans is a joy of a book—a grand-scale chronicle of an era at sea like no other, written by a master maritime scholar, and with appropriate vitality. High ambition, ingenuity, the advance of technology, money, good luck and bad, and courage aplenty all play their parts here. The book, too, is a most refreshing reminder of how much more there is to history besides politics and war. Bravo, William M. Fowler Jr.” —David McCullough

William M. Fowler, Jr. is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Northeastern University in Boston and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Naval War College, and the Sea Education Association. A trustee of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Association, The Paul Revere Memorial Association, and The Rhode Island Historical Society, Fowler is an honorary member of the Boston Marine Society, as well as an editor of The New England Quarterly.

This is an outdoor event aboard the ship Wavertree at pier 16, located on South Street at the foot of John Street. Please plan your footwear and attire accordingy. Books will be on sale at the event. Access to ship at 6:15 PM.


Heroes of New York Harbor: Tales from the City’s Port.
Book Talk

Wednesday September 13 | 6:30 pm | $10 (free for members) | Purchase Tickets

Join the Seaport Museum as Marian Betancourt discusses her book Heroes of New York Harbor: Tales from the City’s Port. Heroes of New York Harbor is a love story to our great port and you will meet some colorful characters who had a hand in making this a great port. In addition to the Moran and McAllister tugboat families (known as the Irish Navy) and John Ambrose, you will meet a grandnephew of Ben Franklin who designed the forts that protect us, Emily Roebling who completed the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge for her disabled husband, Lighthouse Kate who rowed her kids to school each day, the Army engineer who opened the infamous Hell Gate passage, and more.

A review in Towline magazine said: “Betancourt brings the harbor so vividly to life on the page—she has a novelist’s eye for stirring atmospheric details—that the place itself assumes heroic dimensions.”

Marian Betancourt has written many books, two novels and scores of articles on New York in addition to travel writing about other parts of the world. She has been a member of the South Street Seaport Museum for many years and has donated her late father’s maritime collections to the Museum.

This event will be held at the Melville gallery, located at 213 Water Street. Books will be on sale at the event. Doors open at 6:15 PM.


By subway:

  • Take the A, C, 2, 3, J, Z, 4, or 5 train to Fulton Street.
  • Upon exiting, walk east on Fulton Street until you reach the museum. Depending on where you exit, the walk takes between 8 and 15 minutes.
    By bus:

  • Take the M-15 SBS or M-15 to Fulton Street. Note: On the M-15 SBS, you must pay at the bus stop before boarding.
  • Walk one block east.
    By ferry:

  • The East River Ferry, Water Taxi, and New York Waterway provide service to Pier 11 from Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey.
  • From Pier 11, walk north on South Street for about 5 minutes.
  • Once at Fulton Street, turn left. The Visitor Center (12 Fulton Street) is about a half block west.
  • From the Staten Island Ferry, the museum is about a mile walk Northeast on Water or South Street.

  • Parking in the area is limited. There is a parking lot located at Front and John Streets, just one block from the museum. Another lot is available at 294 Pearl Street.

    *As we are located in an historic district please contact the museum regarding accessibility needs prior to your visit