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John Ericsson (born Johan) (July 31, 1803 – March 8, 1889) was a Swedish-American inventor. He was active in England and the United States.
Ericsson collaborated on the design of the steam locomotive Novelty, which competed in the Rainhill Trials on the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, which were won by George Stephenson's Rocket. In America he designed the US Navy's first screw-propelled steam-frigate USS Princeton, in partnership with Captain Robert Stockton, who unjustly blamed him for a fatal accident. A new partnership with Cornelius H. DeLamater of the DeLamater Iron Works in New York resulted in the first armoured ship with a rotating turret, USS Monitor, which dramatically saved the US naval blockading squadron from destruction by an ironclad Confederate vessel, CSS Virginia, at Hampton Roads in March 1862. (Source: Wikipedia)
To read more about John Ericsson's journey in Seaport, check his storylines.
Ahoy captain, I am John Ericsson! Would you like to join my celebrations tonight? I finally found a man with the right connections. I am going to design a frigate like the World has never seen!
That was quite the night! Now I need to get to New York to meet up with Captain Robert Stockton. Surely a great captain like yourself can spare some room on your ship.
|3||New York, New York|
We are here at last, New York. Feel free to explore the city while I meet with Captain Stockton. Stockton is a very influential man within the U.S. Navy, he can help me get funds to make my designs a reality.
I almost forgot! I can't go introduce myself to such a reputable captain empty-handed. I must bring a gift of some sort, perhaps a nice bottle of wine?
|5||Show and tell|
Did you enjoy the city? I had a great chat with Captain Stockton, but he wants to see a more visual model. I can fashion one quickly if I am able to get the right materials.
I went to visit your ship and saw two of your men fighting over a scrap piece of bread! Haven't you fed your sailors since we got here?
Stockton loved the idea and model, we are going to build the first screw-propelled steam-frigate in America! If you would like to stick around with me, we best build some quarters for your crew.
Stockton does have some good political connections, but it looks we will still have to grease some pockets for the U.S. Navy to take on such a daring project. Have a little money to loan, captain?
We were successful! The Navy want us to design a screw-propelled steam-frigate. Looks like that will be my job, Stockton is not much of a designer. I will need some special parts for this project.
The design is done, but I have a bad feeling about Stockton. I heard he has been taking credit for all the work and slandering me behind my back. Can you send your men to find out what is going on?
Thanks to your sailors I found out Stockton named the ship without me and is designing a second gun to mount on the ship. I just hope he knows what he's doing, or it might get ugly for whoever is on board.
Everyone loves the ship I designed, but Stockton gets the credit. It beat the SS Great Western in a speed trial, the fastest ship in the Navy. I am proud and couldn't have done it without you. Let's celebrate!
Tragedy. Stockton's gun was used in a firing demonstration, the breech ruptured and killed eight people, including two cabinet members. He has blamed me for it, so we should get supplies, escape and lay low.
Your ship will do for now, but I think there will be some repairs needed soon. Best get the materials ready now.
Not only did Stockton blame the gun accident on me, he has also pulled his connections, so the Navy is refusing to pay me. This is the last time I ever work with them! Could you lend me some money for now?
|16||Passing the time|
Well, since we have to lay low, maybe we could make some cocoa and talk about old stories from the past.
My father was a miner in Langban. He tried to do his best to support the family, but lost money in a venture, forcing us to move away. He went on to work on the Gota Canal, which would change my life.
I was helping our father working on the Gota Canal where my brother and I got discovered by its architect Baltzar von Platen. He made me a trainee at the canal and I was a surveyor by 14.
I was so small then, my assistant had to carry around a footstool for me to reach the tools. From then I went on to join the Swedish Army, mostly surveying, but have focused on my designs ever since.
Well, thanks for listening to me reminisce about my childhood. I think it should be safe for me to return to New York now. I will let you know when I need you again. Bon voyage!
Hey captain! While you've been gone, I have found a new factory! My best friend Cornelius H. DeLamater allows me to use his facilities for any designs I have in mind, but some capital wouldn't hurt.
|22||The Iron Witch|
Thank you for your investment! Right now I am working with Cornelius on The Iron Witch, the first iron steamboat. You can never have enough iron when working on one of those.
The Iron Witch is quite the project! DeLamater and I will definitely need more men to finish it anytime soon. Could you spare some of your crew?
While you have been away, the houses we built for your crew have been falling apart. We definitely need to rebuild them to keep your sailors warm. The New York winters can be cruel.
This winter is the coldest one in years! I think we should supply the men with additional lumber to keep them warm. Wouldn't want anyone to lose a finger to frostbite in their sleep.
|26||Keep 'em happy|
Your sailors are excellent workers! The Iron Witch ought to be finished ahead of schedule. I feel like we should reward them with bigger lunch portions for the extra work.
We have done it! The Iron Witch, the World's first iron steamboat is finished at last and afloat! I really couldn't have done it without your help. Let's go get a drink!
I am so proud of The Iron Witch, but I can't rest on my laurels. I have been developing and patenting the hot air engine and now the ship is finally built. Could you get me supplies to run some tests?
Is naming a ship you designed after yourself too vain? This caloric engine ship is the future! Every ship needs a good crew and your guys are among the best I have ever seen!
Before introducing Ericsson to the world, there are some special tools I need to construct. Would you mind getting the materials for me?
|31||A possible investor|
The messengers of a secret, very important figure have invited me on a trip to France to discuss a current design. This is so surreal. I will need a gift, one fit for a king. Oh no, I've said too much!
Alright, I can tell you now. I was invited to France by Emperor Napoleon III, the nephew of the famous Napoleon Bonaparte! He asked me to bring a model next time and one does not refuse his wishes.
Emperor Napoleon III seemed very impressed by the design but did not commission it to be built. I am absolutely gutted. Let us drown our sorrows in a cup of cocoa.
It's time to move on. The Navy is begging me to design a new armored ship for them to be used in the Civil war. I vowed to never work with them again, but this is bigger than me, so I agreed to a meeting.
Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy got me on their side. The Confederacy's CSS Virginia has been destroying the Union's Navy. We need to get going on the building process. Can you help with the materials?
Our 100-day deadline is quickly approaching. Would your crew mind lending a hand? We both know that the Union must win this war for the good of the nation and USS Monitor is instrumental to the war.
The USS Monitor is almost ready to stop the rampage of the Confederate CSS Virginia. We will prepare for battle as soon as you deliver these spare parts. Setting out without them would be too risky.
The day is here. The USS Monitor sails to battle CSS Virginia in Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Confederate Navy must be stopped or we will be defeated at sea. Let's get some supplies ready for the soldiers.
The USS Monitor held CSS Virginia to a stalemate! We saved the rest of the Navy! A statue might be built for my contribution, but it should really be built for you. I could not have done it without you.
We are both being honored by the U.S. Navy for our aid in the Civil War. We ought to get custom suits for the occasion. It's been an honor working with you, captain. May our paths cross again!