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Model of the SS Manhattan

Record-breaking icebreaker--first to negotiate the Northwest Passage
When she slipped into the water off Quincy, MA, in 1961, the oil tanker Manhattan was the largest American-registered vessel afloat. She was 951 feet in length, 132 feet abeam, and 68 feet deep--but had not stopped growing. Seven years later, after oil was found in Alaska, Manhattan underwent a seven-month-long conversion to icebreaking tanker. She was fitted with a new icebreaking bow designed to move the vessel up and over the ice until the ship's weight broke through. Steel belts were installed along the sides of her hull to protect it from the immense pressure of the ice. And her weight was increased by 9,000 tons to 151,500 tons, her length to more than 1,000 feet. In September 1969, Manhattan became the first commercial ship to smash her way through the formidable packed ice of the Northwest Passage. Later that year, in honor of Manhattan's remarkable achievement, the English model-making firm of Severn-Lamb Ltd. was commissioned to build this scale model.

SS Manhattan built by Bethlehem Steel Company, Quincy, MA and retrofitted by Sun Shipbuilding Company,Chester, PA
Model: 10' 8" long x 21" wide x 19.5" high; weight, 95 pounds
Scale, 1/8" = 1'
Fiberglass hull, deck, and superstructure; brass fittings
Web display only

Learn more!
· SS Manhattan's 1969 Voyage

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