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Online Library of Selected Images -- Picture Data

Photo #: NH 95123

Ironclad Ram Dunderberg
(launched 1865)

Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 25 May 1867, showing the ship as she appeared on trials in New York Bay in April 1867.
The image is accompanied by an article describing the ship, which is reproduced below.

Courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Collection, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 138KB; 740 x 505 pixels


Text originally published with this engraving:

"The Steam Ram 'Dunderberg'."

"We present on this page an engraving of the steam ram Dunderberg as she appeared on her late trial trip in New York Bay. It was clearly demonstrated on that occasion that this formidable vessel is the largest, stanchest, and most easily-handled engine of naval warfare which has yet been built in this or any other country. Her motive power is ample, her sea-goiing qualities admirable, and her speed is such that she can be managed with equal facility in an ordinary harbor and upon the broad ocean. The public will therefore regret to know that she has lately passed into the hands of a foreign power. The contract between the Government and Mr. William H. Webb, the builder, called for the furnishing of the vessel at a cost of $1,250,000, whereas the cost of her construction was over $2,000,000. Mr. Webb was offered by the Russian Government $3,000,000 for the Dunderberg as she now stands, and applied to the President and the Secretary of the Navy for permission to sell her. The late trip was ordered by Secretary Welles to decide whether the ram should be accepted by the Government at the cost price or left on Mr. Webb's hands. Congress, on March 4, decided to release Mr. Webb from his contract, and it is now understood that the vessel has been sold to the Emperor of the French for $3,000,000."
"The following description of the vessel, in connection with our engraving, will give the reader a clear idea of her immense proportions and strength: Extreme length, 387 feet 4 inches; extreme beam, 70 feet 10 inches; depth of main hold, 21 feet 7 inches; height of casemate, 7 feet 9 inches; length of ram, 50 feet; draught of water when ready for sea, 21 feet; tonnage, 5090 tons; weight of iron armor, 1000 tons. This immense frigate displaces 7000 tons of water. Her engines are two in number, each of the following capacity: cylinders (two), each 100 inches; stroke of piston, 45 inches. The diameter of her propeller is 21 feet, and its weight is 34,580 pounds. She has capacity in her coal-bunkers for carrying 1000 tons of coal, and her actual horse-power is 5000 -- nominally 1500 horse. Taking in this huge naval monster at a glance, she presents to the eye the appearance of a large fortification set afloat upon an enormous vessel; and yet, so symmetrically is she formed, that the angular armor of her casemate presents no indication of ungainliness whatever."

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8 February 2002