Ship Model of Thomas Dana

The merchant ship Thomas Dana was built at Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1876—the 86th vessel constructed by shipbuilder John Currier, Jr. It measured 203 feet 5 inches in length, 38 feet 5 inches in beam, 24 feet 2 inches in depth of hold, and 1,445 tons. According to Lloyd’s Register, the Thomas Dana was owned by Thayer & Lincoln, a Boston firm of merchants, ship owners, and operators; however, another source indicates that it was owned by W.H. Lincoln & Company. The ship traded throughout the Atlantic Ocean, with frequent stops in Liverpool, Great Britain. On 30 October 1883, the Dana was en route from Liverpool to the Azores when it collided with and sank the French brig Rocaley. The French vessel was transporting 102 fish salters from Newfoundland back home to France after the fishing season ended. The Dana managed to rescue 21 men and remained in the area for 4-1/2 hours, but was unable to find any more survivors. Captain C.C. Sisson of the Dana believed that the lost crew probably were asleep belowdecks when the ship sank. The Dana disappeared from the registry in 1895.
This rigged model was attributed to Captain Fredrick Williamson. Captain Williamson lived at Snug Harbor, a sailor’s rest home in New York, and in the 1920s he crafted ship models for the Insurance Company of North America, among other clients.
Currently not on view
Object Name
ship model
date made
ca 1880
Williamson, Frederick
Physical Description
copper (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 28 in x 27 1/2 in x 12 in; 71.12 cm x 69.85 cm x 30.48 cm
hull: 6 1/2 in x 27 1/2 in x 6 in; 16.51 cm x 69.85 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Work and Industry: Maritime
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection

Visitor Comments

10/25/2016 12:58:10 AM
Deborah Williams
Who is the "Thomas Dana" that the ship is named after?
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