29 :: Constitution (1797)

This tough and glorious frigate with three continuous decks is now a museum in the Boston shipyards and can still be toured.

 

52.7 m in length and 13.5 m wide, Constitution was built at the same time as some 50 other warships, including Constellation and Independence. These were the beginnings of the US Navy. The frigate Constitution boasted a crew of 450–700, depending on the requirements. For the first time in the history of navigation, Constitution’s gear included repeating rifles.

 

Her most renowned accomplishments occurred during the War of 1812–1814 with Great Britain, when she defeated the English frigates Guerrière and Sava. She was decommissioned in 1881, after over 80 years of activity.