In keeping with a maritime tradition that dates back to classical antiquity, the construction crew of the Pride of Baltimore II placed a handful of symbolic coins under the 85-foot lower masts.
Among the coins were two 19th century silver half dollars, two 1943 silver quarters and one 1988 silver dollar.
“Coins in the classical tradition,” writes The Baltimore Sun, “are placed beneath ships’ masts to ensure the passage of the spirits of the dead across the River Styx into the afterlife. Seafarers believe that if the ship meets with any mishap, the fare for those aboard is paid with the coins.”
All week we are posting interesting stories surrounding the commissioning of Pride of Baltimore II back in October, 1988!