Charles J Lundgren (New York, Connecticut, 1911 – 1988)
“U.S.S. Florida” Oil on masonite painting. Signed lower right.
One of the most controversial and innovative ships in the U.S. Navy, the U.S.S. Florida (originally named U.S.S. Wampanoag) was a screw frigate commissioned on 17 September 1867 with Captain J.W.A. Nicholson in command. The ship contained a number of design features unprecedented in American naval construction. Her hull was unusually long and tapered much like a clipper ship’s. Her machinery, developed by controversial Naval Engineer B.F. Isherwood, was unique for its geared steam engine in which slow-moving machinery was coupled to fast-moving propulsion gears. Naval officials resisted testing the vessel, delaying it for months. The screw frigate was finally given sea trials on 7 February 1868. Her speed tests were run in unusually rough weather from Barnegat Light, New Jersey to Tybee Island, Georgia. She covered the distance of 728 statute miles in 38 hours for an average sustained speed of 16.6 knots and at one point easily made 17.75 knots. Her speed astounded most observers. Immediately, career naval traditionalists condemned the vessel and its design. Yet, no U.S. ship was able to equal or surpass her speed records for over two decades! On 15 May 1869, the U.S.S. Wampanoag was renamed the U.S.S. Florida. Later in 1869, the U.S.S. Florida was judged unacceptable for use by a naval commission largely comprised of traditionalists.
Overall Size: 20.75 x 21.75 in.