Friday, September 17, 2010

1898 (1898!) film footage of the USN battleship U.S.S. Oregon

U.S.S. Oregon in dry dock, Brooklyn Naval Yard, 1898.

Among the many amazing things available on the Internet are the resources at the Library of Congress, and among this sub-category of amazing things is a short film clip of the battleship U.S.S. Oregon (BB-3) from 1898.

I tried to embed this footage in this post, but could not figure out a way to do that. I also wanted to provide a permanent link to the information page, but could not figure out how to bring up the page using anything but a temporary link. I think the LoC staff doesn't want people to do these things, for whatever reason. In any event, the metadata for this film clip is below.

I found this footage using the LoC's American Memory resource. The metadata page can be found as result #14 using the search term "oregon." This footage can also be found through the moving footage portal of the American Memory website, in which there are sixteen collections of films from 1898 to 1985.

U.S.S. Oregon film metadata:
    Created by: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1898.
    Summary: From the Biograph picture catalogue: 23 feet. This picture of the pride of the United States Navy was made on the occasion of the Peace Jubilee in New York City, and was taken from a tug passing the warship on its way up the North River. The entire crew are on deck, and a beautiful view of this wonderful craft is afforded. Filmed on New York City's North River.

For more on the life and times of the U.S.S. Oregon, see:

Ken Lomax, "A Chronicle of the Battleship Oregon," Oregon Historical Quarterly 106:1 (Spring 2005).

Other groovy pictures can be found searching for “uss oregon” at

Patrick McSherry, "U.S.S. Oregon," The Spanish American War Centennial Website.

"BB-3 USS Oregon, 1891, 1899." NavSource Online: Battleship Photo Archive.


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