Writing Historical Fiction: Researching Historic Ships

These are just a few photographs of the USS Constellation, which I took when I was on my research trip to Baltimore two years ago. It was built after the time period of my novel, but I still found the tour of the ship helpful. Clicking on each image will make it larger.



ship's wheel

cable tier


Filed under Research

9 responses to “Writing Historical Fiction: Researching Historic Ships

  1. Ooh, I love it. This isn’t the one that was destroyed by the hurricane, is it? Or am I thinking of something else?

  2. The rigging, the sails, the wheel, the ropes–why is it that they’re all so automatically romantic and poetic? Maybe because I immediately think of the waves, sea air, and scenes from Conrad and Melville and others. I love it.

    • Hi Shannon. There is something about the idea of being at sea, isn’t there? I think the reality could be fairly brutal, but maybe that’s part of it. The sea gave people a way to test themselves.

      • Shannon

        I agree entirely. I spent memorable days and nights being sick over the side during my night watches, but I still look back on the experience with a glow of wonder. (On the third successive day on the open sea the sickness departed.) I was in a small, modern ketch, but still…

  3. What a wonderful experience that must have been.

  4. Diane Carlisle

    Awesome photos! Thanks for sharing. I like to use pictures when describing things in detail. I’m an advocate of research with photography.

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