A Sailor’s Life, Live! is an education series designed for students that explores life at sea as a historic sailor on USS Constitution. Each episode is co-hosted by a current Constitution crew member live from the ship.
A Sailor’s Life, Live! is supported by an Institute of Museum and Library Services Museums for America Grant and National Endowment for the Humanities CARES Act Grant. Thanks also to Fitchburg Access Television for their technical support for syndication for the following programs: Communication at Sea, Parts 1 and 2; and Sailor Chores, Parts 1 and 2.
Symbols & Superstitions
Do you have a good luck charm? USS Constitution sailors had their superstitions too. In this episode, find out what brought them good luck and bad luck at sea.
Where is the iron in “Old Ironsides”? In this episode, learn all about the design and construction of USS Constitution.
Watch the Animated Launch Video
Back to School with Midshipmen
Yup, even sailors had to go back to school too. In this episode, we focus on USS Constitution‘s midshipmen, the teenagers on board learning how to be an officer.
View Pardon Mawney Whipple’s objects
Day in the Life of a Boy
Be prepared to scrub the deck, grab powder, and pass some messages! It’s all in a typical day for the youngest and least experienced members of the crew: the Ship’s boys.
Play Scrub the Decks mini-game
Sailor Health & Medicine
From a bone saw to “biting the bullet,” this episodes describes medical practices on USS Constitution.
View the List of Ship Medicines and Instruments
We’re unpacking our seabag to learn about 1812 sailor uniforms! In this episode, see and compare different uniforms- from the enlisted men to the captain.
View John Lord’s Object Collection
USS Constitution‘s Firepower
In honor of USS Constitution‘s 21-gun salute for Independence Day, learn all about the ship’s mighty firepower. Do you have what it takes to join the gun crew?
Play Ready, Aim, Fire! Mini Game
Animals on USS Constitution
Animals–both real, and used in ship terminology–always lived among the sailors on USS Constitution. From dragons to jaguars to raging eagles, this episode explores the animal kingdom on board.
Listen to ‘Guerriere the Terrier’
Sailor Hobbies and Games
Life on a Navy warship might seem like all work and no play. But 1812 sailors did have a chance to relax! This episode shows how they spent their free time.
View Purser Thomas Chew’s Object Collection
Music on USS Constitution
Whistle, drum, sing and trumpet in this episode. In this episode, we look at the ways music and instruments were important to daily life on a wooden warship.
Sailor Food and Meals
Hungry for ship’s biscuit and dandyfunk? Get ready to chow down as you learn about what sailors ate on board.
Sailor Chores, Part I
Like many of us, sailors had to do chores regularly to keep their ship clean. On this episode, you’ll stow your hammock, scrub the decks and clean the head.
Play Scrub the Decks mini-game
Sailor Chores, Part II
There are always more chores to be done if you’re a sailor on USS Constitution! On this episode, learn about washing dishes and clothes on board ship.
View the HMS Guerriere dinner plate
Communication at Sea, Part I
Without radios or cell phones, how did sailors communicate with fellow crew members or other ships? Objects like a speaking trumpet and signal flags are featured in this episode.
Communication at Sea, Part II
Learn about two more ways sailors communicated on board USS Constitution: with a Boatswain’s pipe or invisible ink messages!