The New York-based Boucher Company manufactured the model around 1922. Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Roosevelt ordered ten duplicate sets of twelve ships (eleven ships and one aircraft) he felt were historically significant to the chronological development of the Navy (1776-ca. 1920). Chicago was one of the twelve subjects Roosevelt chose.
The FDR sets helped financially stabilize the Boucher Company in its start-up years. Since they had to make ten duplicates of each model, Boucher used mass-production techniques. When the 120 models were complete, Boucher continued selling the carved hulls and cast metal parts to the public. This resulted in the birth of the model ship kit industry in the U.S. Some of the fittings for the set are still being replicated and sold today.
|USS Chicago in 1891-note the additional equipment the Navy added in comparison to the model.|