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PBS Premiere of “The CHARLES W. MORGAN”

May 12, 2014

The new documentary film by Connecticut filmmaker Bailey Pryor “The Charles W. Morgan” will have its broadcast debut on PBS on May 12, 2014, at 9 p.m. It will air on PBS affiliate stations around the country, including Connecticut’s CPTV. Please check your local station’s listings to see when it might be broadcast in your community as each station manages its own schedule.

The one-hour documentary film, directed by five-time, Emmy®-winning filmmaker Bailey Pryor, “The Charles W. Morgan” tells the extraordinary story of America’s last wooden whaleship and the incredible saga of the first global industry dominated by America. From her humble beginnings in New Bedford, Massachusetts, in the year 1841, we follow the adventures of the Morgan on 37 voyages around the world where this “Lucky Ship” survived freeze-ups in the Arctic, attacks by hostile natives, fire aboard ship and a host of other stories, each of which had the potential to end the vessel’s life. Yet, more than 170 years later, the Charles W. Morgan lives on and will sail again on her 38th Voyage in June of 2014.

Millions of people have walked her decks, from ship builders to whalers to movie stars; the Morgan is a lady with a past as complex and unexpected as the era she signifies. In her lifetime, this vessel has witnessed nearly every human emotion, experienced radical changes in technology, and survived the transformation from wind and wood to oil and steel. Yet with all of this progress, in her time of need, the only way to restore this unlikely survivor was to return to the old ways of wooden shipwrights, an experience that transcends generations and redefines a long-forgotten art form. From her early days in New Bedford to her current re-construction in Mystic, Connecticut, the story of the Morgan is the story of American maritime history. Combining stunning archival material with evocative live cinematography and powerful on-camera interviews, the film chronicles the rise and fall of America’s first great industry using the only remaining vessel of the time period as a portal to the past.