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Guide to the John Ericsson Collection
1831-1893 (bulk 1862-1888)
  MS 439.16

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Celia Hartmann

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on August 12, 2014
Description is in English.

Biographical Note

Born in Sweden in 1803, Ericsson emigrated first to England (1826) and then to the United States (1839). Having shown early promise as an engineer, and holding numerous patents for steam-powered engines, he designed the first screw-driven steamship to cross the Atlantic ( Robert F. Stockton, 1839) and the first propeller-driven steam warship for the US Navy (USS   Princeton, 1842). In 1861 he contracted with the Navy to build in 100 days an ironclad warship,   Monitor, which successfully fought the Confederate ironclad   Virginia (originally   Merrimack) at Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, before sinking off Cape Hatteras later that year. After the Civil War, he pursued his interests in torpedo-armed vessels, and in a variety of scientific and engineering subjects, including solar energy. He died in New York in 1889 and was interred in Sweden in 1890.