February 1977 - Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

ASARCO Donates Lead For Full-Scale Replica Of Famous Colonial Sloop

Sixty-five thousand pounds of lead donated by ASARCO Incorporated has been used in the construction of a full-scale operational replica of the 12-gun sloop Providence, a colonial warship that was the first to be authorized by the Continental Navy.

The lead, which was used for the recently commissioned vessel's keel and ballast, was contributed by ASARCO as part of its observance of the nation's Bicentennial. It was derived from scrap lead removed from leadlined tanks at the company's Perth Amboy, N.J., copper refinery, which closed.

The Providence, first command of naval hero John Paul Jones, performed numerous legendary exploits during a four-year career that saw it capture 40 "prizes" of war. When it was finally trapped by the British in Maine's Penobscot Bay in 1779, its captain ordered it burned to prevent the capture so desperately wanted by the enemy.

The full-scale replica was constructed during the past year by Seaport '76, a nonprofit foundation in Newport, R.I., that was founded in 1974 "for the purpose of developing and encouraging public interest and awareness in the maritime heritage of America, particularly during the Colonial and Revolutionary periods." Presently moored in Newport for completion of its interior and rigging, the historic sloop will soon be ready for its shakedown cruise and Coast Guard certification, after which she will embark on a tour of American ports. She is expected to take aboard visitors during the tour, and on occasion make short local cruises.

Two-thirds of the lead donation from ASARCO was used for the ship's keel, which was cast by Seaport '76 in a mold 45 feet long, 20 inches wide, and 14 inches deep. The remaining 20,000 pounds serves as ballast.

Other stories from February 1977 issue


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