Rigged Model, Steamship Philadelphia

This ship model depicts the American Line passenger ship Philadelphia as it was rebuilt and renamed after extensive repairs of improvements in 1901. The model was built by Gustav Grahn and Gustav Grahn, Jr. of New York built this ship model as in 1891. The ship was originally built for Britain's Inman Line as the City of Paris in 1889. She became the Paris in 1893 when her owners transferred her and her sister ship the City of New York to American registry in a business and political maneuver designed to secure a lucrative U.S. mail subsidy. The ship served as an auxiliary cruiser in the Spanish American War and as a troopship in World War I.
Strong competition for passengers—aided by shipbuilding advances, marine-engine improvements, and increased government regulation—led to a substantial increase in the size, speed, and comfort of ocean liners by the end of the nineteenth century. Particularly after 1870, new steamers appeared every few years that were hailed in the press and in advertising as more spacious, better appointed, swifter, and safer than anything that had sailed before. While the biggest and grandest ocean liners were built for the run between Europe and the United States, less renowned steamships carried passengers and emigrants on dozens of routes across the globe.
date made
used date
Associated Place
United States: New York
overall: 148 in x 21 in; x 375.92 cm x 53.34 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Work and Industry: Maritime
America on the Move
Ship Models
Artifact Walls
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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