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 —
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.
Location. 38° 53.207′ N, 77° 2.995′ W. Marker is in West Potomac Park, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on Ohio Drive Southwest south of Independence Avenue Southwest, on the right when traveling north. The memorial on an island in the middle of Ohio Drive in West Potomac Park, one blocks south of the Lincoln Memorial. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: 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. 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); A Legacy of Healing and Hope (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 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 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 & Commerce • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels •
More. Search the internet for John Ericsson Memorial.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 17, 2019. This page originally submitted on April 16, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,230 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on April 16, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.