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Speaker Series

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Speaker Series brings discussion about Chesapeake-related topics to the Van Lennep Auditorium. Held biannually, both the Fall and Winter Series feature a number of speakers connected to a central theme or current exhibition. Speaker Series events vary, but often include talks by industry experts, discussions with community members, performances by local artists, and screenings of relevant films. Each event lends something new to conversation, and will leave you with a greater appreciation for the people and environment of the Chesapeake Bay.

Winter Speaker Series 2018: Picked, Packed and Shipped: Tomato Canning in the Chesapeake 

Long before refrigeration made crabs the juggernaut of the summer canning season, the tomato was the warm-weather king of Chesapeake packing house — and the counterpart to the mighty wintertime oyster harvest. In this four-part series, participants will explore the fascinating ways that canning transformed the Chesapeake’s industry, culture, community, and agricultural landscape of the 19th and 20th centuries through lectures, objects, films, and community conversations.

Phillips Packing CompanyHow Produce Shaped a Community, Thursday, Feb 8, 2:00 pm: Join CBMM chief curator Pete Lesher and collections manager Jen Dolde as they discuss the Eastern Shore’s produce packing past with a panel of community members. Selected images and objects from CBMM’s extensive collections will be used to generate conversation, and audience participation is encouraged.

Dover Brand Tomatos“Til-Made: Remembering the Tilghman Packing Company,” Thursday Feb 15, 2:00 pm: Screening of the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum’s film, “Til-Made: Remembering the Tilghman Packing Company,” a history of the Tilghman Packing Co., on Tilghman Island, Maryland, as told by island residents and those who worked there. A facilitated community conversation by Tilghman residents who remember the packing company’s heyday to follow.

Defender LabelCanning in Chesapeake Communities, Thursday, February 22, 10:00 am: Join former Delaware Secretary of Agriculture and author of the book Saving Our Harvest: The Story of the Mid-Atlantic Region’s Canning and Freezing Industry, Ed Kee, for a discussion of the Chesapeake’s once-mighty canning industry and the ways it impacted life in Chesapeake communities, both large and small, over its 100-year peak.

Photo by Lewis Hine
Photo by Lewis Hine

 Turning the Camera on Child Labor: The Photography and Legacy of Lewis Hine, Thursday March 1, 10:00 am: Join UMBC chief curator emeritus Tom Beck as he discusses the remarkable photography of children’s labor law reformer Lewis Hine. As a photographer for the National Child Labor Committee, Hine documented and exposed the unethical working conditions experienced by children in early 20th century Maryland canneries. Beck will explore UMBC’s collections of Hine’s groundbreaking photography and the importance and legacy of his work for social justice.




All sessions take place in CBMM’s Van Lennep Auditorium, and advance registration is required. The cost per session is $6 for CBMM members, $8 for non-members, or register for all sessions and save: $20 for members, $28 for non-members. If attending all four sessions, please use one of the codes below at checkout:
Non-Members: SPEAKER4