• "Old Ironsides" - USS Constitution Silver and Oak Pen now available

    The Historic Pen Company is proud to introduce the first pen made from a collection of wood we acquired from both the original 1927 reconstruction and the 1973 upgrades made in perpetration for the United States 1976 Bi-Centennial Celebration from the most famous ship in US Naval history - "Old Ironsides" herself - the USS Constitution.

    In the battle that created not only the legend and nick-named "Old Ironsides" but forever sealed the US Navy's formidability, the 44-gun frigate USS Constitution was actually outfitted with 55 guns when she encountered the 38-gun frigate HMS GUERRIERE (armed with 49 at the time) off the coast of Nova Scotia, at about 2 p.m. Closing the distance of several miles between the two warships, HMS GUERRIERE raised three British ensigns as an invitation to a duel; USS CONSTITUTION’s Capt. Isaac Hull answered with four American ensigns.

    Aboard HMS GUERRIERE, Capt. James Dacres ordered his small but highly experienced crew to begin firing broadsides early. USS CONSTITUTION’s commanding officer chose to hold fire until just after 6 p.m., Hull wrote soon after the engagement, “…within less than a Pistol Shot, we commenced a very heavy fire from all of our Guns.”

    In the course of this 35-minute battle, an astonished sailor observed British 18-lb. iron cannonballs, bouncing harmlessly off USS CONSTITUTION’s 25-inch oak hull, and he cried out, “Huzza! Her sides are made of iron!” Henceforth, USS CONSTITUTION carried the nickname “Old Ironsides.”

    USS CONSTITUTION’s 24-lb. shots were devastating, bringing down the English warship’s masts, and entangling the two ships when they collided. The first United States Marine Corps officer to die in combat at sea was Lt. William Bush, who was shot on USS CONSTITUTION’s aft-rail while attempting to board HMS GUERRIERE.

    By 7 p.m., a wounded Dacres ordered a gun fired to leeward, signaling HMS GUERRIERE’s surrender to the American frigate.

    “The Guerriere was so cut up, that all attempts to get her in would have been useless,” Capt. Dacres explained in a letter to his superiors in England. “As soon as the wounded were got out of her, they set her afire, and I feel it my duty to state that the conduct of Captain Hull and his Officers to our Men has been that of a brave Enemy.”

    HMS GUERRIERE sank into the sea in flames on Aug. 20, and USS CONSTITUTION returned to Boston on Aug. 30, to great fanfare.

    The British reaction was summed up by the London Times, which stated, “It is not merely that an English frigate has been taken, after, what we are free to confess, may be called a brave resistance, but that it has been taken by a new enemy, and enemy unaccustomed to such triumphs, and likely to be rendered insolent and confident by them. …how important this triumph is in giving a tone and character to the war. Never before in the history of the world did an English frigate strike to an American.

    The USS Constitution - Silver and Oak is a one of a kind pen made from the piece of USS Constitution oak wood and features HPC's exclusive Sterling Silver hardware in a slim line design.

    The USS Constitution - Silver and Oak is not only a heirloom piece of "Witness Wood" that should be carried, used and passed down to future generations, but this amazing pen is also a one of a kind work of art and craftsmanship that commemorates one of the pivotal naval battles in US and world history.

    Whether for display or function, this is a rare opportunity to own a one of a kind, handcrafted piece of art, an heirloom that can be passed down to the next generation only adding to the history that this "Witness Wood" that was "Old Ironsides" has already absorbed!

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