Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center
Heinz History Center


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Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia

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Opens April 26, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015

Steam back in time to when Pittsburgh was the Gateway to the West with the History Center’s new major exhibition, Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia.

Learn about the Steamboat Arabia, launched in Pittsburgh in 1853, sunk in the Missouri River, and discovered nearly 150 years later by a group of modern-day treasures hunters deep below a Kansas cornfield.

Packed with nearly one million objects, the locally-built Steamboat Arabia travelled extensively to frontier towns along the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri Rivers. During its final journey in 1856, the boat hit a tree snag and sank near Kansas City, Mo. As the years passed, the Missouri River changed course and left the Arabia buried 45 feet below a cornfield.

The Arabia was eventually unearthed in the late 1980s with many of its contents perfectly preserved in an anaerobic (oxygen-free) environment.

The Steamboat Arabia exhibit features nearly 2,000 perfectly-preserved artifacts, including everything from coats and boots to fine china and pre-fabricated homes, all in an immersive museum environment ideal for visitors of all ages.

Hop aboard to enjoy the largest time capsule of pre-Civil War items ever discovered as part of Pittsburgh’s Lost Steamboat: Treasures of the Arabia.

Enjoy this guided tour with History Center President and CEO Andy Masich.

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