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article imagePhoto Essay: Museum of the Great Lakes, Toledo, Ohio Special

By Mike White     Jul 18, 2014 in Travel
Toledo - The Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio, shows the importance of the five Great Lakes in World War II, American Independence, commerce in the United States and throughout the world and recreation. Digital Journal took a tour of the museum.
The museum houses a number of interactive displays. Some will allow users to see what it would be like to use radar to search for a sunken ship. Someone at the museum can also use the interactive displays to build his own miniature ship, search the wreckage of the famous sunken ship, the Edmund Fitzgerald (there is a recovered life raft from the wreckage), find out how much air would be left in his life jacket after various time frames, such as 12 hours, 24 hours or more, and whether he would still be floating or underwater. There are many other interactive displays, a total of more than 40. Outside the museum, for an extra charge, one can tour the three decks of the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship.
A floating life jacket in the Museum of the Great Lakes  Toledo  Ohio. The display shows how much ai...
A floating life jacket in the Museum of the Great Lakes, Toledo, Ohio. The display shows how much air would be in a life jacket after a certain amount of time and how much above water a jacket would be, or if it would be underwater.
The museum shows how the Great Lakes played a vital role in worldwide freedom during World War II, as well as American independence, during the War of 1812.
There is a display, showing how the Seeandbee, once a luxury ship used by passengers, was converted to the USS Wolverine, which was used to train thousands of airplane pilots for fighting during the war. Landing officers were also trained on the ship, and pilots and landing officers were also trained on the USS Sable, with both ships showing the importance of the Great Lakes to the war effort.
During the War of 1812, the Battle of Lake Erie was the crucial in that war for American independence, as the British depended on the water as a supply route for their western army, their supply route for their aboriginal allies and the trade of the North West Company. The British and the Americans both had naval squadrons on Lake Erie. The Americans won , because of superior equipment and personnel, and the fact the British were short of both. As a result the Americans gained freedom of action for later military actions.
A display of a gas engine at the Museum of the Great Lakes  Toledo  Ohio.
A display of a gas engine at the Museum of the Great Lakes, Toledo, Ohio.
There are also displays of gas and steam engines, as well as radar equipment.
A display of radar in the Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo  Ohio.
A display of radar in the Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio.
A life jacket in the Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo  Ohio.
A life jacket in the Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio.
There are a number of displays pertaining to sunken ships, as well speculations as what might have happened to the ships and those on board. There is a video about Prohibition. The video describes how ordinary citizens used the Great Lakes to smuggle rum and other types of liquor, as well as the involvement of Al Capone.
A video about Prohibition at the Museum of the Great Lakes  Toledo  Ohio.
A video about Prohibition at the Museum of the Great Lakes, Toledo, Ohio.
While at the museum, one also learns how deadly the Great Lakes, Erie, Huron, Michigan and Ontario can be. A total of 280 people have drowned on the five lakes since 2010 as of the summer of 2013. Some believe the total number of ships lost on the lakes may total 6,000, with wrecks totaling 25,000.
According to greatlakesmetrochambers.com, the Great Lakes cover all or parts of 12 American states and two providences in Canada. The Great Lakes are responsible for the fourth largest economy in the world, with gross product of $5.7 trillion. The Great Lakes also provide 20% of the world's fresh water.
For an extra charge, one may tour the The Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship.
Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship on Lake Erie may be toured. The Museum sits outside the Museum...
Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship on Lake Erie may be toured. The Museum sits outside the Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio.
The museum is at 1701 Front St, Toledo, OH 43605. The phone number is (419) 214-5000.
Admission is $8 for adults to the museum only, $12 to the museum and boat. Admission for a senior, child 6-18, or AAA member is $7 to the museum, $11 for both. There are other discounts for families of 10%, and admission is free for those younger than five.
Miniature lighthouses for sale in the gift shop of the Museum of the Great Lakes.
Miniature lighthouses for sale in the gift shop of the Museum of the Great Lakes.
A bear for sale in the Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo  Ohio.
A bear for sale in the Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, Ohio.
A bell from the Colonel. James M. Schoonmaker at the Museum of the Great Lakes at Toledo  Ohio.
A bell from the Colonel. James M. Schoonmaker at the Museum of the Great Lakes at Toledo, Ohio.
More about Museum of the Great Lakes, Toledo, Ohio, History, World war II
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