USS Algonquin, a 1173-ton Sassacus class "double-ender" steam gunboat, was built at Brooklyn, New York. Fitted with an engine designed by Edward N. Dickerson and built under his supervision, her completion was delayed by the slow construction of this machinery. Algonquin ran a series of dock trials in the fall of 1865. In February 1866 she took part in a closed-course "race" off New York against USS Winooski. The latter, with the same hull design as Algonquin, had a Navy-designed powerplant, and the contest was intended to demonstrate the value of Dickerson's machinery concepts. After twenty-nine hours of steaming, the race was called off with Algonquin's engine having shown its decisive inferiority on all counts. The ship was subsequently declared "unfit for naval service" and was not commissioned. Algonquin was sold in October 1869 and subsequently had a long career as a civilian vessel.
This page features our only view of USS Algonquin.
|If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."|
Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
Photo #: NH 57269
"Naval Race between the 'Winooski' and 'Algonquin' -- The Start, 3 P.M., February 13, 1866"
Line engraving after a sketch by B.S. Osbon, published in a contemporary illustrated newspaper.
This contest, between the U.S. Navy "double-ender" gunboats Winooski (at left) and Algonquin (center), was conducted to demonstrate the relative merits of their differing machinery. Winooski's engines were designed by the Navy's Bureau of Steam Engineering, while those of Algonquin were designed by E.N. Dickerson. The race, run off New York and lasting twenty-nine hours, clearly demonstrated the superiority of the Navy-designed machinery.
Collection of the New York Naval Shipyard.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 355 pixels
Page made 6 January 2001
Link added 27 June 2001