This 1/8 scale model of the USS Pennsylvania was scratch-built by Robert Wood. Robert was unable to complete this model but his skill and attention to detail can clearly be seen in this masterful work of art. The USS Pennsylvania was designed by Samuel Humphreys and built at the Philadelphia Naval Yard in 1837. Around 1977, Robert started in earnest his quest to build a model of the USS Pennsylvania. After a number of months of correspondence with the Smithsonian Institution and the Franklin Institute, he finally succeeded in obtaining copies of the plans from the National Archives, which he then began the task of scaling to 1/8.

Robert’s passion for model ship building began in 1939 while living in Philadelphia, shortly before beginning his military career in the Marine Corps from 1939 to 1951. One of his first models was of the Flying Cloud that he built while in the Marine Corps. By 1950, he’d built a replica of Joshua Slocum’s Spray. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Wood built a replica of an 18th century ropewalk in order to manufacture his own ship rigging rope. Passing in 1990, Robert Wood is remembered for never being without a model in progress. 

1/8 scale USS Pennsylvania specifications: 

– Started in 1978 – unfinished 

– Rib and plank construction

– Open hull one side

– 43” stem to stern

– 32” keel to top of main mast.   

Exhibit added: February 27, 2018 - Last modified: April 19, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship