“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Southwest in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

John Ericsson Memorial


—National Mall & Memorial Parks, Washington, D.C. —

John Ericsson Memorial Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, April 16, 2009
1. John Ericsson Memorial Marker
Inscription. “I love this country. I love its people and its laws, and I would give my life for it just as soon as not.”
John Ericsson.

Swedish-born John Ericsson revolutionized maritime navigation through the first practical use of a stern-mounted propeller. Ironically, he remains better known for an invention to sink ships not propel them.

During the early stages of the Civil War, concern over the Confederate iron-clad vessel Virginia gripped American seaports. Wooden-hulled ships remained no match for those sheathed in armor.

On March 9, 1862, the USS Monitor–an ironclad of Ericsson’s design–fought the Virginia to a draw at Hampton Roads near Norfolk, Virginia. Its success initiated construction of more Ericsson-designed ironclads President Abraham Lincoln’s increasingly formidable arsenal.

Following the war, Ericsson continued his ground-breaking work in the fields of naval engineering and solar power development. His successful provided a shining example of immigrants who journeyed to American shores in search of a better way of life.

The Memorial

Lobbied by the American Scandinavian Alliance, Congress authorized the John Ericsson Memorial in 1916. Architect Albert Randolph Ross and sculptor James Earle Fraser were tapped to be its creative
John Ericsson Memorial Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, April 16, 2009
2. John Ericsson Memorial Marker
with the memorial in the background, on its island in Ohio Drive.
forces. The memorial was dedicated on May 29, 1926, before a crowd of 5,000, which included President Calvin Coolidge and Swedish Crown Prince Gustav Adolf. Frasier’s sculpture embodies Ericsson seated in deep thought, shadowed by the female figure of Vision, an American ironworker as Labor, and a Viking warrior as Adventure. At their back stands the tree of life from Norse mythology. All are symbols of Ericsson’s genius, heritage, and adopted homeland. The pink Milford, Massachusetts used here is also used in the Lincoln Memorial. In fitting tribute, these two guardians of the Union – Lincoln and Ericsson – together maintain silent watch along the Potomac River.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Location. 38° 53.207′ N, 77° 2.995′ W. Marker is in Southwest, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker can be reached from Ohio Drive, SW just south of Independence Avenue SW. Click for map. The memorial on an island in the middle of Ohio Drive in West Potomac Park, one blocks south of the Lincoln Memorial. The marker is accessible to pedestrians on the east side of Ohio Drive, just south of Independence Avenue. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20037, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within
John Ericsson Memorial, east side Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, April 16, 2009
3. John Ericsson Memorial, east side
"John Ericsson: A.D. 1803 - A.D. 1889."
walking distance of this marker. Korean War Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lincoln Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Alaska and Hawaii (approx. 0.2 miles away); Vietnam Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); A Legacy of Healing and Hope (approx. 0.3 miles away); Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); District of Columbia War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); District of Columbia World War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away).
More about this marker. The marker displays a portrait of John Ericsson 1803-1889, a blueprint of the USS Monitor and a background painting of the Battle of Hampton Roads.
Also see . . .
1. John Ericsson. (Submitted on April 16, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
2. Naval Historical Center. (Submitted on April 16, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
3. John Ericsson Society, New York. The Society was founded in 1907 and incorporated under the laws of State of New York in 1934. John Ericsson: From time to time an inventor comes along who transforms an entire industry, forever changing its principal product and stimulating the development of technology. Such a man was John Ericsson. His inventions, notably incorporated in the Civil War battleship USS Monitor, marked a turning point in shipbuilding and transformed the maritime industry. A Swedish
John Ericsson Memorial, north side Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, April 16, 2009
4. John Ericsson Memorial, north side
"Inventor and builder of the Monitor."
engineer and inventor of the 19th century, his research and innovations in propeller design, hot air engines and solar energy are relevant to 21st century issues. (Submitted on July 18, 2009, by Leif Brisfjord of New York, New York.) 
Additional keywords. U.S. Navy; Swedish Americans.
Categories. Industry & CommerceWar, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
John Ericsson Memorial - west side Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, April 16, 2009
5. John Ericsson Memorial - west side
"He revolutionized navigation."
John Ericsson Memorial - south side Photo, Click for full size
By Richard E. Miller, April 16, 2009
6. John Ericsson Memorial - south side
"His invention of the screw propeller."
John Ericsson Photo, Click for full size
By Matthew Brady, 1863
7. John Ericsson
Naval Historical Center, online library.
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,977 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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