West Potomac Park in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
John Ericsson Memorial
National Mall & Memorial Parks, Washington, D.C.
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
“I love this country. I love its people and its laws, and I would give my life for it just as soon as not.”
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.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics and series. This historical marker and memorial is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #30 Calvin Coolidge series list. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1876.
Location. 38° 53.207′ N, 77° 2.995′ W. Marker is in West Potomac ParkTouch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2912 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC 20037, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Ericsson (a few steps from 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); A National Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Vietnam Veterans Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Canada's Gift to the United States (approx. 0.3 miles away); Rehabilitating a National Treasure (approx. 0.3 miles away).
More about this memorial. 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 . . . John Ericsson. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers website entry (Submitted on July 16, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Additional keywords. U.S. Navy; Swedish Americans.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 8, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 16, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,406 times since then and 68 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on April 16, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. 2. submitted on May 8, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. 3, 4. submitted on April 16, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.