William Tompkins built 307 different model ships at a scale of 1/600. Mr. Tompkins started building his massive collection when he was in his early teens, and he continued to make highly detailed models throughout his lifetime. The fleet of model ships includes a wide array of models that span several decades, if not more, so the collection offers an insightful view of naval evolution over time. A portion of William Tompkins’ fleet of 1/600 scale model ships is on display in the Miniature Engineering Craftsmanship Museum in Carlsbad, CA.

USS Connecticut (BB-18, 1907) was the flagship of Teddy Roosevelt’s “Great White Fleet.” The moniker was a popular nickname for the US Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from December 16, 1907 to February 22, 1909. The fleet consisted of 16 white-hulled battleships that were divided into two squadrons, along with various escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water naval capability. Hoping to enforce treaties and protect overseas holdings, the US Congress appropriated funds to build up American sea power.

Exhibit added: May 6, 2014 - Last modified: January 25, 2024

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship