"Smallest Ship that Ever Crossed the Atlantic Ocean: Log of the Ship-Rigged Ingersoll Metallic Life-Boat." 1866

Monday, July 9, 1866. – Mr. Fitch (and friends,) at 8:30 A.M. took ship out of Whitehall Slip, and sailed her down to Red Hook Point… During the morning, took in and stowed stores, bread, &c

In 1866, two men and a dog from Red Hook, set sail in a metal life-boat rigged like a sailing ship.  

Captain Hudson and Mr. Fitch were out to prove the seaworthiness of the lifeboat , RED WHITE AND BLUE, designed by Brooklyn's Oliver Roland Ingersoll, by sailing it from New York to England.  

On board were preserved cans of meats presented by Isaac Reckhow of 34 Summit Street, Brooklyn: 2 dozen cans roast beef, 2 dozen cans roast turkey, 2 dozen cans roast chicken, 2 dozen cans mutton soup.  Reckhow also gave Captain Hudson his dog Fanny.

38 days later, the small craft arrived in Margate England. The ship capsized four times en route but recovered each time without sinking. It surviving intact to be exhibited in the Crystal Palace, London.

 Despite the best efforts of the small crew, unfortunately, Fanny got sick and died just prior to their landing.

The RED, WHITE, and BLUE would not be the only small boat to start a trans-Atlantic crossing from Red Hook.  [See: "Items Relations" below]

Item Relations

This Item is related to Item: Rowing to Europe in record time, 1896
This Item is related to Item: Three Norwegian Sailors to Sail Around Globe in Lifeboat: 1921
This Item is related to Item: S.S. Great Britain - First Iron Steamer to Cross the Atlantic, 1845
This Item is related to Item: The Atlantic Lifeboat Company


  • Ingersoll, Oliver Roland, Smallest Ship that Ever Crossed the Atlantic Ocean: Log of the Ship-Rigged Ingersol Metallic Life-Boat, “Red White And Blue,” Across The Atlantic Ocean And English Channel. New York: Bruce & Company, 1870

    The book and the full log of the Red, White and Blue can be fond at: 

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