Ship Model, George W. Neare

<< >>
This model is incorrectly named after George W. Neare, a former steamboat captain who went into the insurance business in 1865. By 1889, Neare, Gibbs, and Company were the main river agents for the Insurance Company of North America, whose successor company CIGNA, donated this model to the Smithsonian.
According to a CIGNA article, this model constructed by the boat’s engineer is actually of the steamboat J. S. Pringle, which Neare captained in the 1850s. Measuring 307 tons, J. S. Pringle was built in 1854 in Brownsville, PA for Captain William Stoops, who ran a ferry service across the Ohio River. It was sold in 1855 and moved to the Missouri River. J. S. Pringle ran from St. Louis to St. Joseph under Captain William Conley. In 1861 it carried army supplies from Cincinnati to Nashville under Captain George W. Neare. Captain Hazlett ran it from Louisville on the Tennessee River in Spring 1862. In March 1865 it was acquired by the US Quartermaster’s Department. Steamboats on the western rivers were notoriously bad risks, having relatively explosive high-pressure engines, wooden hulls, and flammable cargo.
A gold finial, projecting uprights and four smokestacks painted black have red and gold spiked crowns. An eagle on a gold ball is on top of the captain's cabin. Two lanterns hang from the smokestacks, and there is a bell on the upper deck. A red, blue and gold emblem is on the bow and an American flag flies at the stearn.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1920
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
tin (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 18 in x 40 in x 12 in; 45.72 cm x 101.6 cm x 30.48 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Many Voices, One Nation
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Add a comment about this object