It is today the smallest dry dock at the Navy Yard and is mainly used for tugboats, but at the time it went into full service in 1851, it was regarded as a milestone of 19th Century engineering. It was named a New York City landmark in 1975.
Known as Dry Dock No. 1, The Navy Yard’s 307-foot dock was under construction for almost ten years. It boasted the world’s first all-metal cofferdam, with a 68-foot entrance and a maximum depth of 26 feet – completely adequate for the repair, construction, or routine bottom cleaning of the largest warships of the time.
This image likely depicts the year’s Independence Day celebrations.
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