An apprentice shipwright's half model board Union Iron Works, San Francisco, Calif., circa 1890
with eight models, each built up in lifts of mahogany [some alternating in yellow pine], including models of a clipper, packet ship, pilot boat, coastal schooner, sailing and motor yachts. Signed on the backboard HALF MODELS/made by Pattern Shop apprentices/UNION IRON WORKS S.F.. 42-1/2 x 65 in. (108 x 164 cm.)
Peter and James Donahue, Irish immigrants, founded Union Iron Works in the south of Market area of San Francisco in 1849. In 1885, the Union Iron Works launched the first steel hulled ship on the west coast, the Arago. In 1886, Union Iron Works was awarded a $1,000,000 contract to build a Naval cruiser, the USS Charleston, her half hull is also offered in this sale. From 1884 to 1902, they built seventy-five marine vessels, including the Olympia, Commodore Dewey's flagship during the Spanish-American war.
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