Ironclad U.S.S. Monitor


Lieutenant General
- ★★★ -
Managing Member & Webmaster
Apr 1, 1999
Martinsburg, WV
U.S.S. Monitor
"A Tin Can on a Shingle" -"The Cheesebox on a Raft"


Type and class:
Monitor Floating Battery with Steam Powered Screw Propulsion​
Ships in Class: One​
Bushwick Inlet (Greenpoint), Brooklyn, New York​
Authorized: October 4, 1861​
Designer: John Ericsson​
Construction Cost: $275,000​
Builder: Continental Iron Works, Greenpoint, Brooklyn​
Keel laid: October 25, 1861​
Overseeing Construction: Chief Engineer Alban C. Stimers, Superintendent of the Ship​
Construction Time: 118 days​


Launched: January 30, 1862​
Commissioned: February 25, 1862​
Operator: United States Navy​
Roles: Fleet protection, Direct-Attack, Supporting Land-based Assaults​
Length of Service: days​
(From date of Launch, to date sank.)​
Commanding Officers:
- Lieutenant John L. Worden​
- Executive Officer Samuel Greene​
- Lieutenant Thomas O. Selfridge​
- Lieutenant William Nicholson Jeffers​
- Commander Thomas H. Stevens, Jr.​
- Captain John P. Bankhead​
Compliment: 49 officers and enlisted men​
Fate: Lost at sea off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina during a storm, December 31, 1862​

Survivors: 46 survivors of 62 total crew (16 died)​
Current Disposition: Wreck discovered on August 27, 1973, turret and other artifacts salvaged and on display at the Mariner's Museum​



Length: 179 feet​
Beam: 41 feet 6 inches​
Draft: 10 feet 6 inches​
Displacement: 1,003 tons​
Steam provided by 2 horizontal coal fire tube boilers, making upwards of 30 lbs of steam pressure.​
Power created by 1 Ericsson Designed 30-ton, 400-horsepower, Vibrating Lever, Half Trunk, Back Acting Engine, built with a 40-inch Cylinder, having twin pistons on either side, each with a 22-inch horizontal stroke, built at DeLamater Iron Works. (Engine Design - U.S. Patent Number 20,782)​

Single Shaft powering 1 Four blade, 9 foot diameter, 16 foot pitch propeller, at a rate of up to 64 rpm.​
Speed: 6 knots​
Turning Circle: Radius of about 400 feet, completing a circle in 4 minutes, and 15 seconds​
Turret Dimensions:

Diameter: 21 feet 4 inches feet​
Height: 9 feet​
Weight: 163 tons​
Rotation Power: A pair of steam-powered donkey engines rotated the turret through a system of gears​
Rotation Speed: 22.5 seconds​
Gun Turret: 8-inches of iron armor​
Waterline Belt: 3 to 5 inches of iron plates, backed by about 30 inches of pine and oak​
Deck Plating: 1 inch of wrought iron armor​
Pilot House: 9 inches of Iron​
(2 × XV-inch smoothbore Dahlgren Shell Guns intended, but not available at construction completion)​
2 × XI-inch smoothbore Dahlgren Shell Guns​

Featured Videos

List of John Ericsson's Patents
U.S. #588 for a "Screw Propeller" patented February 1, 1838.
U.S. #1847 for a "Mode of Providing Steam Power to Locomotives" patented November 5, 1840.
U.S. #4181A for a "Improved Propeller for Steam Navigation" patented September 9, 1845.
U.S. #14690A for a "Hot Air Engine" patented April 15, 1856.
U.S. #30306A for a "Air Engine" patented October 9, 1860.
U.S. #226052A for "Useful Improvements in Air Engines" patented March 30, 1880.
U.S. #298455A for "Submarine Projectiles" patented on May 13, 1884.