Boat Model, Alexander Graham Bell’s HD-4 Hydrodrome, ca 1960

<< >>
The model represents a boat called a hydrodrome, invented by Alexander Graham Bell and Casey Baldwin. This example models the HD-4, fourth in the experimental series of the type. Launched in 1918, the HD-4 had hydrofoils, or fins under the boat that lifted it out of the water to go faster. The HD-4 was powered originally by two 250-hp Renault engines, later replaced by two 360-hp Liberty engines. On 9 September 1919, Bell’s HD-4 achieved the world record for the maximum speed of a watercraft at 70.86 mph, or 61.58 knots. Composed of wood with steel fittings, the HD-4 was 60 feet long overall. The model was given to the Smithsonian in 1962.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1960
overall: 16 1/2 in x 45 in x 11 in; 41.91 cm x 114.3 cm x 27.94 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Institute of Aerospace Sciences, New York, New York
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Ship Models
Data Source
National Museum of American History