I like history, and now that the 2nd NORTH DAKOTA is being built I’ve been looking back at the 1st NORTH DAKOTA. I visited the State Historical Society, and with the excellent cooperation of Jim Davis I was able to get copies of a number of images from our first ship. The 1st NORTH DAKOTA was commissioned in 1910 and she was decommissioned in 1923. During the First World War she guarded the Panama Canal. Here is a photo of NORTH DAKOTA with its statistics on it.
The 1st NORTH DAKOTA was a revolutionary ship as it was the first steam turbine driven warship. With the commissioning of NORTH DAKOTA Naval ships all over the world began to use steam turbines for propulsion. If you’ve seen the movie Titanic, its engine room scene shows the steam-powered pistons going up and down. In fact, the 2nd NORTH DAKOTA is going to be driven by steam turbines. The BIG difference is the 2nd NORTH DAKOTA steam turbines will be driven by nuclear power while the 1st NORTH DAKOTA was powered by coal-fired boilers. It must have been a dirty job for the ship to take on coal. Here is a photo the ship loading coal. You can see the coal being dumped from the bucket. Notice the wheelbarrows on deck.
The beautiful silver service given to the 1st NORTH DAKOTA by the people of North Dakota at a cost of $16,000 was returned to the State of North Dakota by the Navy and is on display in the State Historical Society. Here is a photo of the silver service when it was first returned to the state as it was temporarily displayed in the old state museum.
Here is a link to other low res photos of the 1st NORTH DAKOTA displayed on our website. High res copies are available from the State Historical Society for a modest fee.