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The Steamship Historical Society of America (SSHSA) announced today that it has received a competitive grant to build an interactive website experience that will help share some of the organization’s vast archives with a worldwide audience. U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian were on hand to announce the $50,000 award, presented by the National Parks Service through the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program. Federal funds for the program were generated from the scrapping and sale of obsolete vessels from the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet, which were purchased for recycling.

“Steamships have played an important role in American history, and I commend the Steamship Historical Society of America for winning this competitive grant.  This program helps document, preserve, and advance our maritime heritage and share it with a wider audience.  Once completed, this project will be a great tool for educators, researchers, and the general public,” said Senator Reed.

The interactive online experience, titled “Steaming into the Future,” will focus on a period beginning in 1807 when the first commercially viable American steam engines were successfully powering ships. This began the transition from sail to steam-powered vessels and transformed shipping, commerce and travel across America.