The USS Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, is a wooden ship that has three masts and is a heavy frigate of the United States Navy, originally named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution is the oldest commissioned naval vessel in world that is still afloat.
The ship was one of sex frigates that were ordered for construction by the Naval Act of 1794, and the third to be constructed. The ships were designed by Joshua Humphreys to be the young Navy’s capital ships, so the ships were designed to be both larger and more heavily armed than the standard frigates of that period. The ship was built at the Edmund Hartt shipyard, which was situated in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts. The first offical duty of the ship was to provide protection to American ships during the war with France, with the second duty being to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War. Both of which were considered by naval historians to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ship and the viability of building larger ships in order to secure better naval prowess.