All Hands on Deck: Learning Adventures Aboard Old Ironsides
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Did Your State Help Build Constitution?Map of US

Towering white pine was found in Unity, Maine, (which then was part of Massachusetts). New Jersey and Massachusetts contributed white oak. Flax for Constitution's sails was harvested in the fields of Rhode Island. Hardware to outfit and arm her came from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland and New Jersey. The massive live oak came from islands off the coast of Georgia. From South Carolina and Georgia came yellow pine.


Proverbial Teachers
Proverbs are expressions that convey a lot in few words. See if your students can relate these proverbs to the building of Constitution. First, ask them to put the proverbs in their own words. Can they make up a new proverb about building Constitution?

Design a Hull Projectscuttle-hull
Until the end of the 18th century, ship designers used a fairly simple test to experiment with hull shapes. Perhaps a class parent or your school’s shop department might be interested in helping to create a small tank like the one shown in this diagram. Students can use plasticine clay to fashion hull shapes, making sure the hulls have cockpits (an open space inside) in order to displacemore water and float. Have students weigh the clay on a scale to assure uniform weight, and be sure the cord lengths are all equal. Plasticine can be placed in baggies and shaped without direct contact with the hands to avoid staining. A two-inch segment of a drinking straw makes a good sheath for the cord. Then, test the relative performance of the students' designs.

Credit to Trish Dean and her fourth grade class at Greeneville School, Norwich, CT

hull diagram Nifty Notes on Constitution's Structure
Constitution's decks are cambered, or slightly arched in the middle, which provides strength to her hull, causes water to drain back into the sea, and helps to reduce the recoil, or kickback, of her long guns when fired.

Constitution's tumble home followed the standards for the day: the distance in inches that the hull pinches in at the middle is equal to the height in feet of the hull.

Constitution's frames are only 2 inches apart, compared to a foot or more for a typical frigate of her day.

For Richer or Poorer?
Estimates of Expenditures for the First Captain, Officers and Crew
Act of 1 July 1797
Pay Per Year Pay Per Year
Sailing Master
Surgeon's Mate
Boatswain's Mates
Gunner's Mates
Sailmaker's Mates
Carpenter's Mate
Quarter Master
Master's Mates
Captain's Clerk


Yeoman of the Gun Rooms
Quarter Gunners
Master at Arms
Able Seamen
Ordinary Seamen
Marine Sergeants
Marine Corporals
Marine 'Musics'
Marine Privates Boys

$ 96
$ 84
$ 72
$ 72-96


source: Tyrone G. Martin

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