Rigged Model Passenger Liner Uruguay

This model represents the twin-screw turbo-electric steamer S. S. California built to 1/8" scale. It has two stacks, a black hull, red bottom paint, and white superstructure. The steamship California was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding Company, in Virginia, for the Panama Pacific Line. At her launching in 1928, the California was the largest America-built liner and the world's largest commercial vessel with electric propulsion. The California was built especially for service through the Panama Canal on the run between New York and San Francisco, with stops at intermediate ports. With a speed of 21-3/4 miles an hour, the California was advertised to reach California in 13 days, two days faster than usual. In 1937 the vessel was sold to the United States Maritime Commission and rebuilt for service between the U.S. and South America. Renamed Uruguay, the ship ran between New York and Buenos Aires until 1942 when it was converted to a troop transport for the War Shipping Administration. After the war the Uruguay returned to service and in 1964 was broken up in New Jersey. This model was given to the Smithsonian in 1952.
Date made
used date
Associated Place
United States: New York
United States: California
United States: Virginia
overall: 24 in x 10 1/2 in x 75 in; 60.96 cm x 26.67 cm x 190.5 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of United State Lines Company, New York, New York
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
America on the Move
Ship Models
America on the Move
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Add a comment about this object