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Launch of USS Franklin

Launch of USS Franklin
The rare photo from the Patch Collection at Strawbery Banke shows the launch of the USS Franklin from the Franklin Shiphouse on Sept. 17, 1864. A steam-powered sailing ship the Franklin was called the largest ship of its kind in the world and took over a decade to complete. Technically, the federal shipyard was "repairing" an older sailing ship with the same name. In reality, the repair funds were used to build a new version of a ship given the same name. This tricky-name process brought a lot of work to the New Hampshire/Maine shipyard during this era. According to historian Richard Winslow, the man in the picture in the top hat may be Portsmouth alemaster Frank Jones.

Photo from the Patch Collection at Strawbery Banke Museum and appears in "Historic Portsmouth" by James Garvin.

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