About the USS Constitution wooden scale Model Ship
This model ship of the USS Constitution was custom built from the following information:
- The original construction drawings.
- A set of model plans by David R. MacGregor.
- An article on the restoration of the ship in the National Geographic magazine of June 1997.
- An article on the building of a model of the ship in the Model Shipwright magazine of December 1995
- The book ’Seamanship in the Age of Sail’ by John Harland
- Information obtained and photographs taken during a visit to the ship in Boston Harbour
About the construction of the USS Constitution wooden scale Model Ship
- The hull is built using the Double Plank-on-Bulkhead construction method
- The bulkheads and keel are cut from marine grade pine plywood
- The first layer of planking is done plank by plank using Mahogany planks
- The second layer of planking is done using Mahogany Veneer strips
- The deck is made of Anagre , a light brown timber from the Amazon
- The hull is sheathed with real copper plates below the waterline
- The gunwale and stringers are made of American Walnut
- The fife rails and pin racks are made of American Walnut
- The deckhouses and gangways are made of Teak
- The masts and yards are made of Mahogany dowels
- The sails and ropes are made of linen
- The model is painted with acrylic paint
- The ornaments are cold cast in bronze and painted
History of the American Frigate – Constitution USS
Built in Boston to defend the young American nation, USS CONSTITUTION is nearly as old as the document for which George Washington and Congress named her. Both the document and the ship have proven to be resilient symbols of America’s strength, courage, and liberty.
Made of timbers felled from Maine to Georgia and armed with cannons cast in Rhode Island and copper fastenings provided by Paul Revere, the vessel is truly a national ship. Launched in Boston on October 21, 1797, she first put to sea in 1798. Having remained a part of the U.S. Navy since that day, CONSTITUTION is the oldest commissioned warship in the world which is still afloat.
Her first mission, during the late 1790’s, was to guard American commerce in the Caribbean against French depredations. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson sent her to the Mediterranean to protect American ships and seamen from attack by the Barbary pirates. With Captain Edward Preble in command, CONSTITUTION and other ships of the squadron bombarded Tripoli. Thanks to such determination, a treaty of peace was signed in June 1805 between the United States and Tripoli aboard CONSTITUTION.
After returning to the United States, CONSTITUTION was named flagship of the North Atlantic Squadron. In 1810, her new captain, Isaac Hull, took her to sea. Two years later she met and defeated HMS GUERRIERE, the first in a grand succession of victories in the War of 1812. It was during this ferocious battle that the seamen, astonished at how the British cannonballs were bouncing off the Constitution’s hull, cried out – “Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!” Hence, her nickname,”Old Ironsides.”
When her war service ended in 1815, the battle -scarred CONSTITUTION was laid up for almost six years for extensive repairs, after which she went on two cruises to the Mediterranean. In 1830 she was reported unseaworthy and condemned to be broken up. A poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., entitled “Old Ironsides,” aroused such popular feeling that money was appropriated for rebuilding her in 1833. In 1844, under the command of Captain “Mad Jack” Percival, she began an epic around-the-world cruise and became the first American warship to circumnavigate the globe.
During the Civil War she was brought to Newport, Rhode Island to serve as a training ship for Naval Academy midshipmen.
In 1882, she was removed from active service and shortly thereafter retired to Portsmouth, New Hampshire Naval Shipyard. In recognition of her centennial, CONSTITUTION was brought back to Boston in 1897. Refitted for display and opened to the public in 1905, she became a national monument.
CONSTITUTION was recommissioned in 1931 for a coast-to-coast tour of ninety American cities lasting until 1934 when she was returned to her place of honor in the Boston Harbor at Charlestown Navy Yard. She rests here today as an enduring symbol of the document for which she is named and of America’s determination to defend the republic she so long protected.