Ship Model of the Schooner Dora

This is a model of a typical four-masted schooner, as built in Maine around the 20th century. Such ships were the equivalent of today's tractor trailer, as they carried large bulk cargoes inexpensively around the East Coast and elsewhere. From the 18th to the early 20th centuries, schooners were popular sailing rigs for use primarily in the coastal trade, as they required fewer crew than square-rigged ships to operate. However, the early 20th century, sailing ships in the coastal trade had been replaced by engine-powered vessels.
This model was deliberately misidentified at some point after it was originally built. When a model ship builder restored it in 1967, he cleaned the bow area, revealing the name DORA/New York. He also located a brass plate under a deck house roof inscribed "John Barber Phila. Pa. Wood Worker Deluxe" and the date "Jan. the 31st, 1891." To date, no four-masted schooner named Dora from the early 1890s has been identified.
Currently not on view
Object Name
ship model
date made
ca 1891
Barber, John
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 46 in x 68 in x 9 in; 116.84 cm x 172.72 cm x 22.86 cm
hull: 8 in x 50 in x 10 in; 20.32 cm x 127 cm x 25.4 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

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