Early 20th Century


Hull built up and painted with a green bottom and white topsides. Deck detailed with bollards, chocks, capstan, railings, ladders, ventilators, pin and fife rails, anchor posts with anchors, deck hatch, deck houses with stove pipe and four boats mounted on rails, binnacle, wheel house, etc. Rigged with a bowsprit, three masts and standing and running rigging. Displayed on a pair of wood posts within a glass and mahogany case with stand. Within the case is a silver plaque marked "Ship 'Tusitala' Given in Memory of John A. Farrell 1890-1966".
Model height 22". Length 34.5". Width 9". Case height 25.5". Length 40.5". Width 14.5".

  • Provenance:
    Property of India House, New York.
  • Literature:
    Carl C. Cutler's A Descriptive Catalogue of the Marine Collection at India House (At the Sign of the Gosden Head, New York: 1935), p. 53, #162.

    The ship Tusitala was the last full-rigged merchant ship to fly the American flag. She was an iron-hulled sailing ship of 1,684 tons built in 1883 in Greenook, Scotland as the
    Inveruglas . She subsequently sailed under the Norwegian flag as the Sophie . After being laid up for several years, she was acquired by a group of New York writers and artists who went by the name of the "Three Hours for Lunch Club". The ship was brought under the U.S. flag and renamed Tusitala , in honor of Robert Lewis Stephenson. (Tusitala was the Samoan name adopted by Stephenson, meaning "Teller of Tales".) The "Three Hours for Lunch Club" quickly ran short of funds and the Tusitala was sold to James A. Farrell, the president of U.S. Steel and the founder of Isthmian Steamship Company. His sons would later form Farrell Lines, which would grow to become a major U.S. shipping firm. (Farrell Lines is now a U.S- flag subsidiary of P&O Nedlloyd.)

    Farrell operated the
    Tusitala in service from New York to Hawaii via the Panama Canal until in 1939 it became a training ship at the United States Maritime Services Training Center at Bayboro Harbor in St. Petersburg, Florida. The ship was finally scrapped in Mobile, Alabama in 1947.

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August 20, 2021 9:30 AM EDT
East Dennis, MA, US


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