Tillie E. Starbuck Commemorative Bronze Ship Plaque, early 20th century

Tillie E. Starbuck Commemorative Bronze Ship Plaque, early 20th century

Usage conditions apply
Built at Chester, PA by John Roach & Sons in 1883, Tillie E. Starbuck was the first iron sailing ship built in the United States. Measuring 283 ft. long by 42 ft. wide and 2,750 tons (deadweight), the ship sailed from its Delaware homeport all around the world. In 1884, it was dismasted twice: once off the Delaware Capes and the second time off Cape Horn. From 1895-1901, Tillie sailed between Delaware, San Francisco, Portland, OR and Hawaii. In 1906, en route from Honolulu to New York, Tillie lost all three masts off Cape Horn again in a heavy storm. The ship was set afire and abandoned at sea; the crew was rescued by a British vessel.
Nevertheless, over the course of its long 23-year life, Tillie E. Starbuck set speed records from New York to Portland OR (106 days); Honolulu to Philadelphia (98 days); Liverpool to New York (15 days 1 hours) and Philadelphia to Kobe, Japan (101 days). This bronze plaque outlines highlights from its illustrious career as an early Luckenbach Line ship.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
early 20th century
Physical Description
bronze (overall material)
overall: 18 in x 12 in x 3/16 in; 45.72 cm x 30.48 cm x.47625 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Edgar F. Luckenbach, Jr., Edgar F. Luckenbach, III, and Jason A. Luckenbach, New York, New York
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object