Scenic USA - Massachusetts

Old Ironsides

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Old Ironsides (USS Constitution) - Boston, Massachusetts

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Designed by Joshua Humphreys, the USS Constitution incorporated the best features of French and English ships, yet faster than any opponent. Built to carry a crew of 450 hands, the USS Constitution measures 204 feet in length, and displaces 2200 tons. Her hull was built three layers thick of southern live oak, employed a unique system of cross-bracing, and was fastened with copper bolts and spikes produced at the Paul Revere foundry. Assembled at Boston's Hartt Shipyard in Boston, the USS Constitution was launched October 21, 1797.
   The Constitution was first pressed into duty during a war with France in 1798, and was sent on patrol along Americaís southern east coast. During the early 1800s, the Constitution crossed the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea on a hunt for Barbary pirates. She bombarded and blockaded the fortifications at USS Constitution transom Tripoli, and went on to help to forge a treaty with Algeria and Tunisia. The Constitution's biggest test came during the War of 1812 with Britain. Her string of victories not only gave a tremendous boost to the morale of the American people, but also earned her the nickname of Old Ironsides.
   Now on permanent display at Pier 1 of the former Charleston Navy Yard, Old Ironsides punctuates the northern end of Bostonís Freedom Trail. Here at the Navy Yard, tours of the oldest fully commissioned vessel afloat are conducted by the U.S. Navy in cooperation with the National Parks Service. Tours are free and times vary with the seasons.

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