Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

U.S.S.CONSTITUTION observance day in pictures.

5 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
U.S.S.CONSTITUTION observance day in pictures.
Posted by crackers on Friday, September 23, 2016 10:54 AM

This October 21st, will be the date that the U.S.S. CONSTITUTION was launched in 1797. Here is a brief pictorial history of this famous ship.

Earliest know painting of the U.S.S. CONSTITUTION, as painted by Michele Felice Corne about the year 1803.

Dramatic escape of the CONSTITUTION from a British fleet off the New Jersey coast on July 17-19, 1814, as painted by J. Font Mahan.

The U.S.S. CONSTITUTION as a receiving ship at the Portsmouth Navy Yard, New Hampshire in 1882. The barn built on the ship housed incoming officers and sailors. The barn was removed during a 1906-1907 restoration in Boston, Massachusetts.

 The CONSTITUTION after her $154,000 restoration at the Charlestown Navy Dockyard #1 at Boston in 1931. Later made a escorted cruise down the Atlantic coast. Sailors seen furling her sails on this 1931-1934 cruise.

The CONSTITUTION on a demonstration cruise outside of Boston on August 19, 2012. First time allowed to sail since a similar event in 1997.


The U.S.S. CONSTITUTION is the oldest commissioned floating warship in the world, with an active crew of 75 members. The HMS VICTORY in England, is older, but in a permanent display in a dock yard.

The U.S.S. CONSTITUTION as seen on May 18, 2015, for her current restoration project. It is estimated that only 8 to 12 percent of the origional timber is on the ship as launched in 1797.

Pictures and text from NAVY LIVE, the official publication of the U.S. Navy.

Happy modeling  Crackers    Smile

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, September 24, 2016 9:25 AM

The mention of the timber brings up an interesting book about the Constitution.  Forget the name of book and author (anyone?).  Anyway, it mentioned a federal forest area maintained just to provide ship timbers.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Saturday, September 24, 2016 12:43 PM

It is interesting that Don Stauffer should mention about the timbers of the U.S.S. CONSTITUTION. The main construction on the original CONSTITUTION's hull, was white oak (Quercus alba). This pre-eniment hard wood tree is found in eastern to central North America, from Quebec, Canada, south to Northern Florida, to Eastern Texas. This tree is identified by its massive heights and sturdy branches that strike out in wide angles. It is a long lived tree, where individual speciments have been know to live up to 500 years. That is why the U.S.S. CONSTITUTION is also know by her nickname "Old Ironsides", when during the War of 1812, British cannon balls were seen to bounce off the sides of the CONSTITUTION's hull.

Source information,Wikipedia        Happy modeling      Crackers   Big Smile

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, September 25, 2016 9:23 PM

Alba shares a Latin root with Albino; the Roman name for the land of the Britons was Albion, from the white cliffs of Dover.

The pressing need for ships of all sizes often meant that British ships were built with green lumber.  American ship builders had the luxury of dry-seasoned lumber, and in quantities which allowed a narrower frame spacing than British ships  That frame spacing narrowed even further with all the riders, knees, and the like set between them.  Add in plnking to  superior scantling, and you get ships that can resist iron cannon shot.


Side bit of trivia, a horticulturalist at my alma mater, Texas A&M, Dr,. Ness was the first to hybridize (American) "English" Oak, Quercus Alba, with "American" Oak, Q. Virginiana.  Which was quite the marvel for the oak lumber industry but did not affect the sailing ship world so very much.  Not having hybridizing until 1890.

  • Member since
    December 2006
  • From: Jerome, Idaho, U.S.A.
Posted by crackers on Sunday, September 25, 2016 10:08 PM

Beg to differ with you CapnMac82, with all due respects. Some Ships built on contract in North America for the Royal Navy did have green wood in their construction. A bad example of that, is the 44 gun, H.M.S. AMERICA, built at Portsmouth, New Hampshire by Natheniel Meserve during the years 1749-1750.The AMERICA sailed to England, but was broken up in 1757 due to extensive dry rot, because the ship was built with green timber. The vessel must have been really in bad condition, as all warships in the Royal Navy were in demand during the height of the Seven Years War with France (1756-1763) Another example is the H.M.S. BOSTON, which shared a similiar fate as the AMERICA.

The model of the AMERICA is interesting, as it is the oldest known model of a British ship built in North America. It is not known if this model was rigged, as it suffered rough handling over the years and had to be restored by the Smithsonian Institution. It is now on display at the Portsmouth Athenaeum, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where it was first donated in 1820.

Happy modeling     Crackers   Stick out tongue

Anthony V. Santos

  • Member since
    May 2010
Posted by amphib on Monday, September 26, 2016 5:47 AM

From what I have read the Constitution was framed from Live Oak not White Oak. The original wood came from Gascoigne Bluff and was milled near St Simons Ga. According to the article 60 acres of trees were needed to supply the wood. Because of a scarcity of Live Oak during one of the restorations Red Oak was substituted but was found to rot extremely fast. For the latest restoration Live Oak harvested after Hurrican Hugo was donated by the City of Charleston as well as a donation from the International Paper Company.

Live Oak is prized for ship framing because of the natural curves that conform to the shape of ship timbers. Whether the planking might have been White Oak is a good question.


Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.