Watch a hyperlapse of the world's oldest commissioned warship the USS Constitution "Old Ironsides" entering dry dock for her recent multi-year restoration. The critical restoration work, just completed, will allow her to continue her mission for years to come.
Watch America's Ship of State enter drydock.
Dry Dock 1
Dry Dock 1 is one of the first two naval dry docks in the United States, and is a significant landmark in American civil engineering. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior in 1966.
The Final Step
Constitution entered Charlestown Navy Yard's Dry Dock 1 in May 2015. Work lasted through this summer (2017), and she will be re-floated and returned to her regular pier in the Navy Yard on the night of July 23, 2017.
During the period of the restoration work, visitors were able to view the ship on blocks and stilts, secured for repair, via a viewing stand the Navy placed at the head of the dry dock. Sailors from her crew answered questions and explained the ongoing work.
It was the first time in 20 years that Constitution was out of the water.
For more than 217 years, America's Ship of State, USS Constitution, has been a symbol of the country's fighting spirit. More than 500,000 visitors tour the ship every year and learn about Navy history. Previous commanding officers have said the ship actually "speaks". Welcome to All Hands Magazine's Old Ironsides feature presentation, where USS Constitution will speak to you.
In this feature video, hear USS Constitution speak to you.
I was born in Boston...
My journey began October 21, 1797, when I was launched from Edmund Hartt Shipyard in Boston Harbor as one of the original six frigates built for the U.S. Navy. It was an awkward introduction, as my extreme size caused difficulty with the launch, and it actually took three separate tries on three different days to get me off the ramps and into the water!
I saw a great deal of action during my 58 years of active naval service, including engagements in the Quasi War with France, the Barbary Wars, and the War of 1812 - winning 33 battles while never taking a loss.
While my guns once struck fear into the heart of the enemy, they now invoke awe and pride in those who witness my ceremonial firings each day.
My Sailors once used unmatched skill to join me in fierce naval battles. Today, they use those skills to help me educate the public and immerse my visitors in naval heritage and pride.
My visitors are often surprised to learn that their Navy still has official uniforms from the 19th century. This uniform, referred to by the crew as "1813s", is an official Navy uniform and its wear is still prescribed in the Navy uniform regulations. The uniforms go back to a time when enlisted Sailors didn't actually have a standard uniform. Prior to and during the War of 1812, my enlisted crew served in whatever clothing they owned when they joined the crew. They would often inherit clothing items from fallen shipmates. Near the end of the war, the enlisted men began buying clothing similar to other men in the crew, creating a uniform appearance. Soon, the whole enlisted crew was dressed alike, or, you might say, they were dressed in uniform. You can use your mouse to spin these two Sailors for a 360-degree look at their 1813 uniforms.
Gun Drill 360
Captain's Cabin - Entrance
Gun Deck - Forward
Powder Filling Room
Aft Powder Magazine
"Many an eye has danced to see
that banner in the sky. Beneath it rung the battle shout
and burst the cannon's roar."
How I Measure Up
My Birth Record
Gun Battery - 1798
Gun Battery - Aug 1812
Gun Battery - Dec 1812
Gun Battery - Feb 1815
Although my battle record stands at 33 wins and no losses, some of my encounters with the enemy stand out as my proudest achievements. These legendary stories were made possible by unmatched skill, ingenuity, courage and dedication of my Sailors.
The Great Chase - July 16-19, 1812
HMS Guerriere - August 19, 1812
HMS Java December 29, 1812
HMS Cyane and HMS Levant - February 20, 1815
Read more of my story and history
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