the Philadelphia


“Philadelphia” is a small gunboat that payed a pivotal role in the American revolution (see below).  This wearable sculpture is my interpretation of the valiant vessel.  The sculpture is made of pewter, brass and copper and has a nickel silver pinback.  It is interactive, the rudder moves port & starboard.  It is  3 5/8 inches long.  Its frame is 8 1/2 inches long.








A short history of Philadelphia:

This wearable sculpture represents the Revolutionary War gunboat Philadelphia which was sunk in Lake Champlain by British forces on October 11, 1776 during the Battle of Valcour Island.

Her sacrifice, and that of others during this battle and the strategic retreat that followed, proved pivotal to the ultimate winning of the Revolutionary War by the Americans.

The British intended to divide the rebellious colonies in half.  The plan was to sail & march south from Canada, take control of Lake Champlain and continue south through the Hudson River Valley to New York City (which the British already controlled). 

The Battle of Valcour Island and the strategic retreat of American forces under the leadership of Benedict Arnold, delayed the British advance until winter set in.  This delay gave the Americans much needed time to build their forces.  Ultimately, this led to the British defeat at the Battle of Bennington and their crushing defeat at the Battle of Saratoga.  This defeat was pivotal, turning the tide of war in favor of the American rebels.

Philadelphia was raised in 1935.  In 1964 she was acquired by the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington DC where she is now on exhibit.