Name of Model: REPUBLIC
Period ship sailed
: 1903 – 1909
Type of model; Scratch waterline

Modeler’s name: Bob Fivehouse
Scale of model: 1″ = 32′
Build time: About 8 months

Description of build, including materials: The model has a solid basswood hull and basswood deck houses with paper overlays for the cut-out windows. The decks are holly and the funnel is brass. The masts are wood turned to a taper. The boats are carved wood and the rigging is copper wire. The rails and stairs are photoetched brass. The model was built from plans drawn by Mr. Fivehouse based on the original rigging plan supplied by the builders.

Ship’s history: The REPUBLIC was built by Harland & Wolff in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1903 as the COLUMBUS for the Dominion Line service to Boston. Her main particulars were: Length = 570’ Breadth = 67.8’.

After only three voyages she was switched to the White Star Line and renamed REPUBLIC for the service from Boston and New York to the Mediterranean (usually Genoa, Italy). She was on such a voyage in 1909 when, on January 23, after leaving New York, she was rammed in the port side amidships by the Italian line FLORIDA in heavy fog just off the Nantucket lightship. Her wireless operator made the first known call for help using a radio and a number of ocean liners leaving New York An attempt was made to tow her to shore but the next day she sank. She was the largest ship in the world to sink prior to the TITANIC.

Her wreckage has been located in about 270’ of water. She was purported to have had gold on board worth 1.6 billion dollars by today’s value. This has not yet been recovered but more about the REPUBLIC can be found at

Modeler’s biography: Bob Fivehouse is a retired teacher who has been building ship models most of his life. He built the ship models for the dioramas at Ellis Island in New York City and for the Montauk Point Lighthouse on Long Island as well as models for Columbia University and many private collections