In 1794 by authorising the construction of six warships, the Congress of the United States in effect created the American Navy. One of these ships was the Constitution, also know as 'Old Ironsides', since bullets were unable to peirce her oak hull, which was made of planks up to seven inches thick. She was built at Edmund Hartt's shipyards in Boston, in 1797. Her first job was to patrol the Eastern coast of the United States during the 'Quasi-War' with France (1798-1800). In 1830 she was on the point of being scrapped, as she was in no fit state to sail, but public opinion refused to allow it and she remained in active service until 1881. The ship
is currently in the Naval Museum and lies at anchor in the American Navy shipyards in Boston.