Launched in 1797, the USS Constitution, “Old Ironsides”, is the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat. This wooden-hulled, three-masted frigate was named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America. It is still in active service with the U.S. Navy and is currently docked at the Naval Yard in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
Every 20 years or so, the ship would enter dry dock for an overhaul. When she was reconstructed in 1834, souvenirs such as walking canes and picture frames were made from her old planking, a practice that has continued to this day (who wouldn’t treasure a piece of Old Ironsides?). The USS Constitution Museum Store currently carries ballpoint, rollerball, and fountain pens with casings fashioned from USS Constitution wood by New England craftsman. Each pen is engraved with the words “USS Constitution” and comes with a card noting the provenance of the wood. Also available are clocks from the local Chelsea Clock Co. mounted on USS Constitution wood. These items would make great gifts for the naval/history buff.Price:
Pens: USD 45.95-200
Patriot Clock: USD 350
Ship Bell Clock: USD 2,925