Nantucket’s Cabinet of Curiosities

A to Z

Inspired by Nantucket’s early museums, especially the original “Fair Street Rooms,” the Nantucket’s Cabinet of Curiosities: A to Z exhibition showcases iconic curios, oddities, and other island treasures from the NHA collections, presenting an encapsulated “A to Z” overview of Nantucket history.

Such curios as the model of the Nantucket Camels; the bell from the railroad engine Dionis; the tiller of the whaleship Lima; the famous wax doll of Louis XVII, Dauphin of France, brought back by a Nantucket captain; and many more items will be taken from storage and placed on display for the first time in years.

Another exciting component of the exhibition are movies from old Nantucket, including footage from the 1930s to 1950s playing on an antique television in a 1950s living room setting. Visitors will have a chance to enter Josiah Freeman’s Photo Studio and have their portrait taken, to smell spermaceti and ambergris, to color a copy of the Tony Sarg Alphabet Book with their children and families; to send a Nantucket postcard to friends; and, most enjoyable, to revisit the model of the Nantucket Railroad first displayed in 2008.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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