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U.S.S. Philadelphia

  • Object:

    Toy ship

  • Place of origin:

    Rhode Island (manufactured)

  • Date:

    ca. 1890 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    R. Bliss Manufacturing Company (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood, sawn, turned, nailed, drilled and glued, with some sections covered in lithographed paper, with wire and cord

  • Museum number:

    B.628:1 to 19-2010

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This wooden battleship was made by the well known R. Bliss Manufacturing Company, from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, U.S.A. The ship is made from wood covered in parts by sheets of lithographed paper. This manufacturing technique was typical of a large number of Bliss products, including their famous dolls houses. The masts, rigging, lifeboats, guns and funnels can all be dismantled and stored in the hull when not in use. It is one of a series of similar ships that the company produced at the end of the nineteenth century. This one, the 'Philadelphia', is based on the American cruiser of the same name, which was commissioned in 1890. Other ships in the series include those based on the 'Defender', winner of the 1895 race for the America's Cup, and the royal yacht 'Britannia'. The ship reflects the popularity for toys connected with transportation, as well as a trend for toy manufacturers to reflect real-world technology in their products, including those connected with warfare.

Physical description

A battleship made from wood, with cord and metal wire, with some sections covered in lithographed paper. It has three masts with rigging, two large wooden funnels in the centre of the deck, also covered with lithographed paper, and four funnels on the edge of the deck, three wooden lifeboats hanging over the side of the ship from wire hooks, two large moveable wooden guns and a wooden, lithographed sailor, not to scale. The lithographed hull, in red and white, is printed with details to resemble that of a war ship, with portholes, guns, anchor chains and steps, and with waves at the bottom. The ship is on wheels.

Place of Origin

Rhode Island (manufactured)

Date

ca. 1890 (manufactured)

Artist/maker

R. Bliss Manufacturing Company (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Wood, sawn, turned, nailed, drilled and glued, with some sections covered in lithographed paper, with wire and cord

Dimensions

Length: 78 cm maximum, Height: 55 cm maximum, Width: 14.5 cm maximum

Object history note

This ship was one of a range of ships manufactured by the R. Bliss Manufacturing Company, based in Pawtucket, Rhode island, U.S.A. in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Bliss are well-known manufacturers of wooden toys, in particular dolls houses, often covered with lithographed paper.

Descriptive line

Toy battleship, wood, some covered with lithographed paper, with cord and wire, the 'U.S.S. Philadelphia', manufactured by the R. Bliss Manufacturing Company, U.S.A., ca. 1890.

Materials

Wood; Wire; Cord; Lithographed paper

Techniques

Lithography

Subjects depicted

Sailors; War; Battleships; Ships

Categories

Children & Childhood; Boats and ships; Military; Toy vehicles

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Museum of Childhood

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