John Ericsson

Also found in: Wikipedia.
John Ericsson
BirthplaceLångbanshyttan, Värmland
Engineer, innovator

Ericsson, John

(ĕr`ĭksən), 1803–89, Swedish-American inventor and marine engineer, b. Värmlands co., Sweden. He moved to London in 1826, and entered the railroad locomotive Novelty in a contest in 1829, only to be defeated by George StephensonStephenson, George,
1781–1848, British engineer, noted as a locomotive builder. He learned to read and write in night school at the age of 18, while working in a colliery.
..... Click the link for more information.
's Rocket. Ericsson's outstanding role in the development of the screw propeller (he patented one in 1836) for ships was responsible for his coming to America in 1839 to build for the U.S. navy. The U.S.S. Princeton, completed by him in 1844, was the first warship with a screw propeller. Unfortunately, one of the ship's guns, which he did not build, exploded and killed several dignitaries, and he was blamed unjustly for the disaster.

Ericsson is chiefly remembered as the designer and builder of the Monitor, a radical departure from previous types; and its fortuitous conflict with the Virginia during the Civil War, less than five months after its keel was laid, caught the imagination of the people and made Ericsson a hero (see Monitor and MerrimackMonitor and Merrimack,
two American warships that fought the first engagement between ironclad ships. When, at the beginning of the Civil War, the Union forces abandoned the Norfolk Navy Yard at Portsmouth, Va., they scuttled the powerful steam frigate Merrimack.
..... Click the link for more information.
. With his associates he was busy the remainder of the war designing and building other ironclad vessels, and after the war he built monitors for other governments until the type was abandoned. He also constructed gunboats for Spain, and worked on a "destroyer" with successful devices for releasing torpedoes underwater, but he could not interest the U.S. government in it.

Ericsson made many other contributions to engineering, notably in ordnance, in marine engines, and in caloric or heat engines. In his late years he did experimental work in solar physics.


See biography by R. White (1960).

Ericsson, John

(1803–89) engineer, inventor; born in Varmland County, Sweden. He served as a topographer and a captain in the Swedish army. He moved to London and worked as an independent engineer (1826–39), developing the idea of placing a ships' engine below the waterline; his Novelty was the world's first propeller-driven commercial ship. He came to New York in 1839 with a commission to build a ship for the U.S. Navy. His propulsion system was used by commercial steamers and by the USS Princeton (1844), the world's first screw-propelled war vessel. He became a U.S. citizen in 1848. The advent of the Civil War brought a demand for his talents; he designed and built the USS Monitor in a 100-day period (1861–62). Following the battle between the Monitor and the CSS Virginia (formerly the Merrimac) he continued to design and build ironclads. He launched a ship capable of firing underwater torpedoes (1878) and continued his experiments to find better methods of utilizing heat energy, even looking into solar energy. He died in New York and his remains were returned to Sweden (1890) at the request of the Swedish government.
References in periodicals archive ?
EDUCATION -- Working alongside John Ericsson Middle School 126 in Brooklyn, children of all ages will have the opportunity to attend workshops by Sebastian Masuda and learn expression through art.
The new memorial is distinctive in other ways: It is only the fourth to an individual who did not serve as president (the others are for George Mason, John Ericsson and John Paul Jones) and, more importantly, the first honoring an African-American to be located on or near the National Mall.
He emphasizes their life stories over their achievements, and arranges profiles chronologically, which feature engineers from Western and Eastern Europe and the US, and include Pierre-Paul Riquet, Thomas Telford, John Rennie, Richard Trevithick, George Stephenson, Charles Babbage, John Ericsson, Gustave Eiffel, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Hertha Ayrton, Nikola Tesla, Heinrich Hertz, Wilbur and Orville Wright, Wernher von Braun, and Edith Clarke.
He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church and the John Ericsson Lodge 25 VASA Order of America in Worcester.
Like the sculpture of inventor John Ericsson, whose crumpled trousers so outraged locals early last century that the artist, sculptor Ingel Fallstedt, committed suicide.
As the Civil War raged, President Lincoln tapped inventor John Ericsson to build an ironclad warship that could engage the Confederates' ironclad the Virginia (previously known as the Merrimack).
USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS 3), along with USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) were there to meet them as they made their way through Commander, 7th Fleet, providing fuel and stores for the "Abe" Carrier Strike Group.
For further information on GMIT, the final judgement or for interview opportunities regarding this landmark case, please contact John Ericsson, GMIT Managing Director at jde4u@aol.
He was a member of Emanuel Lutheran Church, Greendale Retired Men's Club and Vasa Order of American, John Ericsson Lodge.
The museum will tell the story of John Ericsson and the construction and launch of the USS Monitor from the historic sites in Greenpoint.
Diehl (T-AO 193) USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) USNS Leroy Grumman (T-AO 195) USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196) USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198) USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200) USNS Patuxent (T-AO 201) USNS Yukon (T-AO 202) USNS Laramie (T-AO 203) USNS Rappahannock (T-AO 204)
The battle takes place as part of the 200th birthday celebration of the life of John Ericsson, a Swedish immigrant and maritime designer who designed and built the Union's Monitor warship and created the modern propeller.