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who built old ironsides

by Colleen Medhurst Published 1 year ago Updated 4 months ago

When was Old Ironsides built?

October 21, 1797USS Constitution / Launched

What is the history of Old Ironsides?

How did the Constitution get the nickname "Old Ironsides"? It was in the great naval battle where the Constitution captured the British ship Guerriere. A sailor on the Guerriere saw 18-pound British cannonballs bouncing right off the hull of the Constitution. He exclaimed, "Huzza, her sides are made of iron!"

Why is the USS Constitution called Old Ironside?

Constitution's crew defeated four British frigates during three separate engagements. In battle, Constitution earned the nickname "Old Ironsides" because it appeared as if enemy cannonballs could not penetrate the ship's strong oak hull.

Where was Old Ironsides built?

Boston, MassachusettsConstitution, byname Old Ironsides, warship renowned in American history. One of the first frigates built for the U.S. Navy, it was launched in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 21, 1797; it is the world's oldest commissioned warship afloat.

How much of the USS Constitution is still original?

10 to 15 percentAccording to the Naval History and Heritage Command Detachment Boston, today's U.S.S. Constitution maintains about 10 to 15 percent of its original wood, including the lower futtocks, keel and the deadwood at the stem and stern.

How many ships did Old Ironsides sink?

By the war's end, “Old Ironsides” destroyed or captured seven more British ships.

What is the oldest surviving ship?

The Pesse canoe is the world's oldest known ship, dating between 8040 and 7510 BC.

What made Old Ironsides so strong?

The unique construction techniques and materials used to build the USS Constitution made it a formidable and powerful ship that later earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” due to its impressively strong and durable hull.

Can you ride the USS Constitution?

Maintained in its 1812-era configuration, access to USS Constitution is limited to visitors who can safely walk aboard the Ship's top (spar) deck unassisted.

Are any battleships still in service?

The last battleships were struck from the U.S. Naval Vessel Register in the 2000s. Many World War II-era battleships remain in use today as museum ships.

Will the U.S. Navy bring back battleships?

A notional Navy rendering of DDG(X), America's future super-sized surface combatant. Battleships are back! In little more than five months, the shape of America's future Navy fleet changed.

What is the oldest boat in the world?

the Pesse CanoeThe oldest boat to ever have been recovered, the Pesse Canoe, is believed to be from the early Mesolithic Period, from around 8,000 years BCE. The small canoe can be seen at the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands.

What is the theme of the poem Old Ironsides?

Summary of Old Ironsides 'Old Ironsides' by Oliver Wendell Holmes speaks on the glory of the USS Constitution on the eve of its decommissioning. The poem begins with the speaker agreeing that the ship should be decommissioned. He asks that the “ensign” be torn down and eventually nailed to the mast of the ship.

What made Old Ironsides so strong?

The unique construction techniques and materials used to build the USS Constitution made it a formidable and powerful ship that later earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” due to its impressively strong and durable hull.

Why did cannonballs bounce off the USS Constitution?

A combination of different types of oak layered around each other made the ship's surfaces dense and difficult to pierce. The multiple layers of wood absorbed the cannonballs' impacts of the and dissipated the forces quickly.

Why is the USS Constitution famous?

On August 19, 1812, USS Constitution met and defeated HMS Guerriere, a 38-gun British frigate under the command of Captain James Richard Dacres. While relatively inconsequential in strategic terms for the War of 1812, the stunning victory provided a much needed morale boost for the American public.

What was the significance of the victory of Old Ironsides?

The unexpected victory of Old Ironsides against a British frigate helped unite America behind the war effort and made Commander Hull a national hero. The Constitution went on to defeat or capture seven more British ships in the War of 1812 and ran the British blockade of Boston twice.

How many ships did the old Ironsides destroy?

By the war’s end, “Old Ironsides” destroyed or captured seven more British ships. The success of the USS Constitution against the supposedly invincible Royal Navy provided a tremendous boost in morale for the young American republic.

What was the name of the ship that the British shot off the side of the Constitution?

Old Ironsides earns its name. During the War of 1812, the U.S. Navy frigate Constitution defeats the British frigate Guerrière in a furious engagement off the coast of Nova Scotia. Witnesses claimed that the British shot merely bounced off the Constitution ‘s sides, as if the ship were made of iron rather than wood.

Why was the Constitution built?

The Constitution was one of six frigates that Congress requested be built in 1794 to help protect American merchant fleets from attacks by Barbary pirates and harassment by British and French forces. It was constructed in Boston, and the bolts fastening its timbers and copper sheathing were provided by the industrialist and patriot Paul Revere. Launched on October 21, 1797, the Constitution was 204 feet long, displaced 2,200 tons, and was rated as a 44-gun frigate (although it often carried as many as 50 guns).

Who built the old Ironsides?

Vineyarders Built “Old Ironsides”. “Old Ironsides,” the frigate Constitution, and the most famous of an ship to fly the American flag, was built by a Vineyard man. Furthermore, the head foreman under the builder was also from this Island.

Who was the builder of the Constitution?

The builder of the Constitution was Colonel George Claghorn, who was born in Chilmark, near Roaring Brook, and his foreman, if that be the correct title, was Prince Athearn of North Tisbury.

Why did Claghorn return to New Bedford?

Claghorn returned to New Bedford after building the Constitution and along with his business seemed to gave taken an interest in the military affairs, due probably to the fact that he was a veteran. He was attached to the 2nd Massachusetts regiment, attaining the rank of major and later when Colonel Massaseh Kempton resigned and Lt. Col. Joseph Durfee removed to Rhode Island, Claghorn was promoted to the rank of colonel, and given command of the regiment, which he retained for about ten years.

Where did Athearn work?

He worked later in the yards at Portland and then in New Bedford, where he was living at the time that Claghorn sought builders. Chosen to take the position of foreman under the builder, or “second in command,” as he styled it, his first duty was to take a vessel to the Kennebec River, Maine, to get the timber for the frigate’s keel and side timbers.

How did Hull kned his ship?

Hull kedged his ship, by carrying out his lightest anchor at the end of all the cable he had, capable of standing the strain, and pulling her ahead by means of his windlass. For two days and nights this was kept up and as the second night approached a squall struck and he was able to escape.

When was the frigate Java taken?

On Dec. 29 of the sane year under Capt. William Bainbridge the English frigate Java of 49 guns was taken near San Salvador. On Feb. 14, 1814. under Capt. Charles Stewart she took the English privateer Pictou of 16 guns, and on Feb. 20, 1815, off Lisbon, took the frigate Cyane of 36 guns and the Levant of 18 in 45 minutes.

Where did Claghorn build the first steamer?

He built the first two steamers ever launched at Cincinnati and others which ran on the great inland waterways. Late in life he met with financial reverses and but for his children would have come to want, according to the Commercial. This, singularly enough, is similar to the ending of Claghorn’s career.

Who wrote the poem "Old Ironsides"?

Old Ironsides (locomotive), the first locomotive built by Matthias W. Baldwin. "Old Ironsides" (poem), an 1830 poem written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. as a tribute to the USS Constitution. Old Ironsides (VTA), a light rail station in Santa Clara California.

What is the 1st Armored Division?

1st Armored Division, an armored division of the United States Army. Norman Keith Collins (aka Sailor Jerry), "Old Ironsides" was his nickname on his radio show.

Why is the Ironsides ship needed to be repaired?

The ship has needed periodic repairs to keep it seaworthy throughout its long service as a warship, training vessel, barracks, and museum.

Who designed the frigates?

Realizing the young U.S. Navy could not yet match in size the fleet of England or France, ship designer Joshua Humphreys recommended building swift but powerful frigates that could both out gun and out run any ships of the line.

What kind of oak did the Navy use for the Constitution?

In November of 1973, Crane was designated as the official, sole supplier of solid white oak for the Constitution.

What is the name of the structure that Tri-State ships use to replace hull planking?

When work begins on the ship, Tri-State will also begin hauling the logs as needed to Boston for the milling and shaping to replace deteriorated hull planking and supporting structures called “knees.”

What was the original idea of the Navy to grow its own trees?

The district oversaw Navy facilities in 25 northern states — including Indiana. Andrews, now 67, said the original idea floated by someone higher up in command was for the Navy to grow its own trees for the ship’s future repairs. “That had to be by somebody who didn’t know how long it took to grow trees,” he said.

Where did the Navy buy oak planks?

The Navy purchased the needed timber on the open market from a private sector supplier near Piqua, Ohio. The steep price immediately had the Navy looking inward to supply its own oak for future restorations and repairs of the ship.

Where did the saw for the Constitution come from?

The custom saw used to cut the timbers into planks for Constitution also came from Indiana. In 1989, the Navy asked Wood-Mizer, headquartered in Indianapolis, to design and build a sawmill that could handle the ship’s giant planks and tall masts. Wood-Mizer’s New Point plant, served electrically by Decatur County REMC, built the saw in 1990. The saw clamps the log in place while the blade moves along a set of rails and down three 24-foot bed extensions.

Why is the USS Constitution called Ironsides?

The unique construction techniques and materials used to build the USS Constitution made it a formidable and powerful ship that later earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” due to its impressively strong and durable hull.

Where did the live oak used to build the Constitution come from?

The live oak used to build the Constitution came from the swamp coastal forests of Georgia. The ship’s masts, cabinetry, millwork, and trim were originally made of Eastern white pine.

What Kind of Wood Was the USS Constitution Made of?

The hull of the USS Constitution was originally made of white oak and live oak. The hull consisted of three layers with the outer and inner horizontal layers being made of white oak and the center vertical layer being made of live oak.

What type of pine was used to build the USS Constitution?

The ship’s beams and decks were made of longleaf pine. This type of tree grew mostly in the south and the longleaf pine used to build the USS Constitution came from South Carolina.

What is the name of the ship that was fought with the HMS Guerriere?

According to an article on the American Society of Civil Engineers website (ASCE), this live oak is what gave the ship it’s iron-like strength and earned it the nickname “old ironsides” during the battle with the HMS Guerriere in 1812:

When was the USS Constitution built?

The USS Constitution was constructed between 1794 and 1797. The ship was one of six ships commissioned in 1794 by President George Washington to help combat French privateers during the Quasi-war with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War.

Who carved the figurehead on the USS Constitution?

The figurehead, which was carved by the Skillin brothers, John and Simeon, didn’t last long though as it was damaged during a collision with the USS President in 1804 and was replaced with a carving of a billethead, as can be seen on the Hull model and on the actual USS Constitution today.


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