Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Builder's Half-Model-USS Delaware

This is the builder's half-model of the Gosport-built 74-gun ship-of-the-line USS Delaware. Designed shortly after the War of 1812, the model is one of the oldest artifacts in the museum. While it looks very simple, the ship’s architect built the model with the intent of it being used by the shipyard’s workers as a construction guide.
The ship builder would take a model like this, put it on the floor, and start making drawings on the floor in proportion to the actual size of the ship. If the builder found any errors in the ship designer’s original calculations, he could then make corrections to the math before the keel was laid and heavy construction began.

As many half-models ended up in the fireplace once workers finished, these type of models are rare. The museum is very appreciative to the Navy's Curator of Ship Models (the legal custodian for all Department of the Navy ship models) for loaning and allowing us to display models like this.

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