Brigs Niagara and Lawrence

34 posts in this topic
On 5/11/2017 at 6:17 PM, achuck49 said:

According to a Wikipedia article...


Niagara was constructed from 1812 to 1813 to protect the vulnerable American coastline on Lake Erie from the British and played a pivotal role in the battle for the lake. Along with most warships that served in the war, Niagara was sunk for preservation on Presque Isle in 1820. Raised in 1913, it was rebuilt for the centennial of the Battle of Lake Erie.


I would never have thought that a ship this size could have been built in one year given the conditions of the time. 


Chuck A

Much less than a year, actually. Niagara was laid down in March of 1813 and launched in May, commissioned in August. Just took a couple months to do most of the construction work, with the rest being her fitting out. They were building these things fast and cheap (cheap as in a lack of decoration/prettiness). 


On the British side, the keel for the 42-gun 24-pdr frigate Psyche was laid down on Halloween 1814 and she was launched on Christmas Day of that year, though admittedly her frames were shipped in from England. Even the 112-gun three-decker Saint Lawrence had her keel laid in April, launched in early September, and was commissioned in October 1814.

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Given the short build period, remote build location, and need to build cheaper, and the intent to go directly into battle, would either ship have originally been painted anything but a basic coat of black all over, if at all?  

mtaylor and donrobinson like this

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Oohhh. Touchy subject :o


One thing almost for sure. It wasn't painted the colors of the MS kit - fire engine red and French's yellow.  Several paintings show both either all black or black and gray or buff at the gunwales.

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