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USS Constitution is a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy, named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America. She is the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat. Constitution was launched in 1797, one of six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794 and the third constructed.
Constitution was rated as a 44-gun frigate, but she often carried more than 50 guns at a time. Ships of this era had no permanent battery of guns, such as modern Navy ships carry. The guns and cannons were designed to be completely portable, and often were exchanged between ships as situations warranted. Each commanding officer outfitted armaments to his liking, taking into consideration factors such as the overall tonnage of cargo, complement of personnel aboard, and planned routes to be sailed. Consequently, the armaments on ships changed often during their careers, and records of the changes were not generally kept.
During the War of 1812, Constitution's battery of guns typically consisted of thirty 24-pounder cannons, with 15 on each side of the gun deck. A total of 22 cannons were deployed on the spar deck, 11 per side, each a 32-pounder carronade. Four chase guns were also positioned, two each at the stern and bow.
Since her 1927–1931 restoration, all of the guns aboard Constitution are replicas. Most were cast in 1930, but two carronades on the spar deck were cast in 1983. A modern 40 mm (1.6 in) saluting gun was hidden inside the forward long gun on each side during her 1973–1976 restoration, in order to restore the capability of firing ceremonial salutes.
"Old Ironsides" is a poem written by American writer Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., on September 16, 1830, as a tribute to the eighteenth-century frigate USS Constitution. Thanks in part to the poem, she was saved from being decommissioned and is now the oldest commissioned ship in the world still afloat.
The images below were found by Googling a lot, but they do show what I believe to be the same time period as my images above, and even give exact dates!
|Moving into drydock.|
The small boat on the lower-left, next to the gangplank says "U.S. Navy Divers Boat No. 1"
The comment written on the image says,
"Stepping Main Mast
Navy Yard Boston Mass.
May 1, 1907"
I don't know what the "19-6-11" stands for. Maybe it's the photog's image number.
Here the bowsprit is being lowered into place by the crane.
The comment written on the image reads,
Navy Yard Boston Mass.
May 1 1907 3.30 p.m."
Also the photog's mark "19-3-13"
This image looks like the ship is all refit.
The comment on the image is,
"U.S. Frigate Constitution
Navy Yard Boston
June 29 1907"
and the photog's mark, "19-6-8."
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These are webpage verification websites.