Half hull construction model of the "Washington Irving"

Donald McKay (born in 1810)

Object Place: East Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Overall (H x W x L): 30.5 x 12.7 x 121.9 cm (12 x 5 x 48 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

George Putnam Model Ship Gallery (Gallery LG28)





Canadian-born Donald McKay (1810-1880) was one of the nineteenth-century’s most important designers and builder of ships. Some of the fastest clipper ships ever made were produced in his East Boston shipyard, established in 1845. “Washington Irving,” a 751-ton packet ship, was the first vessel McKay constructed there, and he may have used this model in its construction. Packet ships carried passengers, mail, and freight between two ports-in this case, Boston and Liverpool, England. The ship was launched in 1845 for Enoch Train’s White Diamond Line, and the model descended in the family of Captain Daniel Upton, who once commanded the ship.

Credit Line

Gift of John Templeman Coolidge