"Old Ironsides"
A Fighting Lady and the
USA Ship of State

Picture of

This image of Old Ironsides is a work of a sailor or employee of the U.S. Navy, taken or made during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

One of the highest and best uses of white oak can be found in the construction of the USS Constitution. This 44-gun frigate was launched in Boston harbor in 1798. The keel was made of white oak from New Jersey, the hull was made of white oak from Kennebec Valley, Maine, (part of Massachusetts at the time), and the planking was made of white oak from Merrimac Valley, Massachusetts and Kennebec Valley, Maine. White oak was used for the keelson, beams, ledges, carlings, planking (side, bottom, ceiling, and deck planking under guns), dead woods, lower stem piece, wales, and water ways. For detailed information on the construction of the USS Constitution, please visit Marbelhead Magazine and scroll down near the bottom of the page.

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