Ship Model, Brig Swift

The Swift was originally built as a two-masted schooner in North America in 1778, during the American Revolution. Lightly built and with very little cargo capacity, the fast little 75½ foot vessel may have been a coastal packet ship, carrying mail and government dispatches.
Captured in 1779, the Swift was taken into the British Royal Navy until 1783. Shortly before sale out of the Navy in 1783, the shipmaster exercised his prerogative and had the vessel re-rigged as an armed brigantine, with square sails on the foremast, fore and aft sails on the mainmast, and ten 3-pounder deck guns. Around the same time, the hull shape was recorded at the Deptford Royal Dockyard, London. This model of the Swift was made from those British Admiralty design drawings.
Object Name
brig, rigged model
Date made
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
iron (overall material)
textile (overall material)
overall: 23 in x 33 in x 11 in; 58.42 cm x 83.82 cm x 27.94 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Revolution and the New Nation
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
On the Water
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL
Additional Media

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