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John Ericsson Memorial in Washington DC

Designer of the ironclad Monitor

Ericsson's chief fame is for his design of the USS Monitor, an armored ship that was designed in direct response to the Confederate craft the CSS Virginia (formerly the USA ship USS Merrimac), which had nearly single-handedly defeated the Union navy blockade at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Left unchecked, the potential for the CSS Virginia (and other Confederate craft built like her) was that it could annihilate the Union Navy entirely. John Ericsson's design work was the principal element that checked the CSS Virginia, and this in turn magnified the ability of the Union to overcome the Southern Confederacy.

John Ericsson Memorial photo by Erik WeemsJohn Ericsson Memorial  2John Ericsson Memorial 3John Ericsson Memorial 4John Ericsson Memorial 5

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