Robert F Stockton (1838); Passenger/cargo vessel; Steamer

Scale: 1:48. A contemporary ‘picture model’ of the American steamer ‘Robert F Stockton’ (1838). This is an early example of the sailors work style of modelmaking, in that it shows the hull as a half block on a waterline, mounted against and on a scenic base forming a three dimensional picture.

They were thought to be produced along the same lines as the popular ship portraits that were painted in large numbers by artists known as ‘pier head painters’. These two methods were virtually the only way a ship’s captain or owner could commission an image of their particular vessel before the advent of photography. It was also common to commemorate a particular historical event and in this case, the ‘Robert F Stockton’ was the first iron screw steamship to cross the Atlantic, mostly under sail, in 1839.

She was the second ship designed by John Ericsson to be given screw propulsion and was built by Laird of Birkenhead, England, for Captain Robert F. Stockton of the United States Navy. Measuring 63 feet in length by 12 in the beam and a tonnage of 33 gross, it had two screws revolving in opposite directions on concentric shafts. After crossing the Atlantic, she became a tug on the Delaware River under the name ‘New Jersey’. Captain Robert F. Stockton had a very successful career in the US Navy as he was one of the first naval officers to act against the slave trade and was primarily responsible for the introduction of their first screw-propelled warship, the USS ‘Princeton’ in 1843

Object Details

ID: SLR0767
Collection: Ship models
Type: Half block model; Mirror-backed model
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Unknown
Vessels: Robert F Stockton 1838
Date made: circa 1838
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Overall model and case: 705 x 711 x 161 mm

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